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Report: Antonio Callaway benched on Sunday for being late

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Browns continue to take (somewhat) tough love approach to under-performing wide receiver.

Seattle Seahawks v Cleveland Browns Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

There are a few simple rules to follow when it comes to being a good employee and one of those is to show up for work on time.

The inability to do even that most basic function reportedly landed Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway on the bench for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

The Browns surprisingly placed Callaway on the inactive list just hours before the game, and it was all because he could not get to FirstEnergy Stadium when he was supposed to, according to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot:

Antonio Callaway was benched right before Sunday’s 19-16 victory over the Bills for arriving late to the game, a league source told cleveland.com. Callaway parked in a different lot than usual and was a few minutes late, the source said. The players stay in the team hotel the night before the game, but can go home in the morning and drive to the game.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens did not go into detail about what happened with Callaway, but did express hope that the second-year wide receiver learned a lesson, according to clevelandbrowns.com:

“I do not know if he had gotten the message or not, but I am not wavering. What Antonio and I talk about stays between Antonio and I. I always want our guys to make good choices. I am not going to talk anymore about that situation. I did what I felt like I needed to do, and it is over.”

Kitchens did confirm that the punishment was just for Sunday’s game, so Callaway is expected to be available for Thursday night’s home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Whether or not that is good news is open to debate, as Callaway has done little on the field this season as he has eight receptions for 89 yards and has often struggled to line up correctly or run the proper routes.

Callaway has had little trouble making news off the field, however, as he missed the first four games of the season while serving an NFL mandated suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He also came to training camp out of shape, something that offensive coordinator Todd Monken was not shy about pointing out at the time.

The Browns selected Callaway in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft after he was dismissed from the team at Florida for his involvement in a credit card fraud case and tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Callaway looked to be on his way to rewarding the team’s faith as he had 43 receptions for 586 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. But things started to fall apart with the start of training camp and Callaway has yet to turn things around.

He is the type of “troubled player” that general manager John Dorsey can’t resist taking a chance on, so Callaway will likely continue to get more chances than his on-field play may call for.

Hopefully, after Sunday’s misstep, he will finally start rewarding the Browns for the faith they continue to show him.