DAVIE, Fla. (July 19, 2005) -- Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has been cleared by the NFL to report for the start of training camp, a year and a day after he abruptly retired.
Williams decided to apply for reinstatement after sitting out last season. He still faces a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse program.
"If he decides to return, Ricky Williams is eligible to report on the first day of training camp without incurring a further violation of the substance abuse program," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "His four-game suspension for violating the program would be served over the first four games of the regular season."
Williams acknowledged shortly after retiring that he failed drug tests and faced a suspension for testing positive three times for marijuana. A court later found the 2002 NFL rushing champion in breach of contract by retiring, and ordered him to repay the team $8.6 million.
Williams informed coach Dave Wannstedt of his retirement plans last July 23, one week before the start of training camp. New coach Nick Saban offered Williams another chance with the Dolphins, who report July 24 and begin workouts the next day.
Williams rushed for 3,225 yards and 25 touchdowns in his two seasons with the team.