Sean McDermott, Bills were unaware of Matt Araiza’s statement

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The Buffalo Bills were not made aware that punter Matt Araiza was going to release a statement regarding the lawsuit that mentioned his name.

On Thursday, Araiza was one of three football players named in a civil lawsuit that accuses him of raping a 17-year-old girl last year while he attended San Diego State.

Things then got odd. On Friday, Buffalo visited the Carolina Panthers for their third and final preseason game of 2022. Araiza made the trip but did not play. Backup quarterback Matt Barkley held punting duties.

While watching the contest from somewhere in Bank of America Stadium, Araiza released a statement claiming his innocence. It went out via his legal representation to NFL media. It read:

“The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press. I look forward to quickly setting the record straight.”

Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott confirmed what some might expect. He did not know Araiza was going to do that.

“No,” McDermott said via video conference. “I’m aware of that statement since the game. I’m not going to comment on that.”

McDermott did not appear to be happy about the statement. He shook his head throughout his response.

Araiza was still going to fly back to Buffalo with the team following the game, per McDermott. The coach also called Araiza not suiting up his decision, calling it the “right thing to do.”

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Story originally appeared on Bills Wire