D.J. Williams, the Denver Broncos’ most popular linebacker, hasn’t played a single snap in the regular season, but he grabs more headlines than most other linebackers on the team.
It was announced Wednesday that Williams will be sentenced to 30 days of in-home suspension for his latest DWAI (driving while ability impaired) arrest. The punishment will start Feb. 7, right after the Super Bowl.
The prosecution was looking to put Williams in jail for a month, but the judge took the league’s punishment into account as well. This was Williams’ second ability impaired driving arrest in five years.
Williams is currently serving the second of his two suspensions, and will be able to return to the team Nov. 12, just in time for when the Broncos host the San Diego Chargers. The first suspension was a six game penalty for providing a “non-human” urine sample during an NFL mandated drug test.
Williams has led the Broncos in tackles in five of his eight NFL seasons. That’s why he will likely be inserted into the Broncos’ starting lineup as soon as he’s available.
The team has been using Wesley Woodyard and Keith Brooking to fill in for Williams. Woodyard is currently leading the team in tackles with 48. He’s on pace to beat Williams’ total tackles in all but one season with 136 tackles on the season. Brooking has added an additional 22 tackles.
People may look at Woodyard’s stats and think, hey just put Williams in a backup role. The thing that could slow Woodyard’s production is his size. At 6’0″ and 229 pounds, Woodyard is undersized for his position. Another eleven regular season games can put a lot of wear and tear on the body for a guy like Woodyard who is going up against much bigger opponents.
Let’s hear it, fans. If you’re the Broncos, how do you handle Williams once he’s back?