Araiza had not been seen at practice on Saturday, and did not play in the Bills preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Friday.
Head coach Sean McDermott had previously declined to comment on the status of Ariaza’s position with the team or what he and the front office had been aware of before news of the lawsuit broke a few days ago.
McDermott did say there was “some” information he had learned about after the suit was filed.
McDermott did elaborate a bit further, saying “It’s just a matter of trying to find the truth at the end of the day, right. That’s the goal is find the truth and do the right thing. And that’s what I keep coming back to in my mind and my heart is find out the truth to the best of my ability and do the right thing.”
The lawsuit recounted some serious, disturbing assertions of conduct towards the alleged victim:
“The teen told Araiza she was a high school student and, even though he could see she was highly intoxicated, he took her outside and told her to perform oral sex, then had sex with her.
“Then Araiza took her to a bedroom where Leonard, Ewaliko and at least one other man were, the complaint alleged, and threw her down on the bed face first. The lawsuit said she was raped for an hour and a half until the party was shut down.”
Araiza had impressed early in camp, launching a massive punt during a preseason game.
While the allegations are extremely serious and concerning, it’s also a bit surprising that the team made the decision to release him before the process plays out.
Maybe they have more damaging information about his conduct than has been publicly revealed.
Until there’s more news of how the suit is officially decided, it seems unlikely any other team will be interested in picking up Araiza.