Browns coach Freddie Kitchens made it clear that he wasn’t happy with Antonio Callaway’s suspension.
“We’re not willing to put up with it, okay?’’ Kitchens said of Callaway’s latest setback.
Callaway will sit the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. His suspension stems from an August 2018 incident in which he was cited for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license.
“He knows what he has to do, so we’ll evaluate the situation as it goes forward,’’ Kitchens said (via cleveland.com). “But, yeah, if you talk about my relationship with Antonio, I’d say, ‘Yes, I like the kid.’ I think he’s a good person. Sometimes people lump these sort of things into being a bad person. This is a great kid now. So we’re going to support him until he proves us otherwise.”
Kitchens explained that he and Browns general manager John Dorsey sat down with the 22-year-old receiver and set expectations for what Callaway will need to do going forward. Kitchens reiterated: Callaway “understands the significance of this, and he’s going to work to make things right.”
“When you start talking in terms of that, the person that it’s affected has to be willing to commit to doing what’s right,” Kitchens said. “So if he’s willing to commit to doing what’s right, then we’re willing to support him in every way that we can, and that’s what we’re going to do until he proves us wrong.
“Hopefully, he does it. Hopefully, he’s committed enough to do it.”
The Browns selected Callaway in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, even though he had a troubled past. He was suspended during his final season at Florida for involvement in a credit card fraud case, and he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL combine in February 2018.
Callaway said in a statement Friday that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions, while admitting he made a mistake.
“I appreciate the Browns standing by me and supporting me during this time,” Callaway said. “I know there’s nothing I can say to regain trust; it will all be about my actions.”
Callaway can participate in all preseason practices and games, but he won’t be eligible to return to the Browns’ active roster until Monday, Sept. 30.