The Denver Broncos have hit linebacker D.J. Williams with the "heaviest fines possible" and barred him from starting Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs a day after his second drunken-driving arrest.
The linebacker and defensive co-captain was charged with driving under the influence after being arrested in Denver early Friday morning, just hours before he was supposed to report to work at Dove Valley.
The Broncos also stripped him of his captaincy for the season after he missed practice and a meeting Friday when he was in a detox facility, the team said Saturday.
"The Denver Broncos are extremely disappointed in D.J. Williams' careless and irresponsible actions on Friday morning," the team said in a statement. "This type of behavior is taken very seriously by the organization.
"The Broncos have levied the heaviest fines possible to him for conduct detrimental to the club under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement due to the disruption and resulting impact on the team."
The Broncos (2-6) face the league's top rushing team Sunday when the Chiefs (5-3) visit Invesco Field.
"Any further possible discipline stemming from this incident will be determined by the league's policies and the legal system," the Broncos said.
Williams, a seventh-year pro from the University of Miami, could be suspended by the league for multiple games for violating the NFL personal conduct policy. It's up to the NFL to fine or suspend a player for alcohol-related offenses.
It was Williams' second such arrest. He pleaded guilty in September 2005 to driving drunk and was ordered to perform 24 hours of community service. After that, he said he realized he needed to get a designated driver whenever he went out partying, and the team provides drivers to its players but Williams didn't use one Friday.
District attorney's spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said Williams was pulled over at 2:40 a.m. Friday for driving without headlights on. He was cited with DUI, a misdemeanor, as well as driving without headlights.
Other teams have similarly punished players for infractions and distractions. The New York Jets benched receiver Braylon Edwards for one quarter after a DUI arrest and the Tennessee Titans didn't let receiver Kenny Britt start after he got into a brawl at a bar.
San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson is serving a three-game suspension for multiple DUI arrests, which was reduced from an original four-game penalty.
If convicted, Williams also faces a mandatory 10-day jail sentence, although the judge could order he serve his sentence at home, and at least two years of probation. Williams has been ordered to appear in court Dec. 13.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.