Matt Araiza was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft after an extremely successful career at San Diego State.
Expectations for the youngster dubbed “Punt God” were sky high heading into the 2022-23 NFL season, but a series of disturbing allegations halted his pro career before it could even get off the ground.
In late August Araiza was named in a civil case where he and two San Diego State teammates stood accused of gang raping a girl who was just 17 years old at the time.
One day after the allegations went public, the Bills released Araiza.
This week, troubling visuals emerged of the injuries allegedly sustained by the accuser:
“I was crying, and my friend asked me what happened,” she told CBS News. “And I told her, ‘I had just been raped.’”
The woman then went on to reveal what she had written in her journal the day after the alleged incident occurred.
“All I keep replaying in my mind is being face down in a random bed just waiting for it to be over,” her entry read.
Araiza’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, has remained defiant in the face of the claims made against Araiza.
“I would be very surprised if they ever charged Matt Araiza with anything in this case,” Armstrong told CBS News. “If she really was raped in that back bedroom, that’s horrible. It’s a horrible thing to happen to anybody.
“But all I know is that Mr. Araiza had nothing to do with it, and the only thing I can think of as to why she’s included him in this civil lawsuit is because of money.”
Time will tell what happens with Araiza from here. The legal system will presumably do its part first – and then from there it remains to be seen.
A lot of people thought Deshaun Watson would ultimately face harsher consequences than he ultimately did, so anything is possible. If Araiza is exonerated, and perhaps even if he isn’t, there could be a job waiting for him in the NFL at some point.
They look exactly the way you’d expect them to. https://t.co/8XwGIs8Y9h
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 1, 2022
Will the start of the regular season make everyone forget about all the issues that have plagued the league over the past few months?
Time will tell.