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.
It's 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.
Williams was ordered to appear in court Dec. 13.
Williams, a seventh-year pro from the University of Miami, likely will be suspended for multiple games for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is serving a three-game suspension for multiple DUI arrests, which was reduced from an original four-game penalty.
A conviction isn't required for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend a player without pay. The league's policy states: "If the Commissioner finds that ... the player has had prior drug or alcohol-related misconduct, increased discipline up to and including suspension may be imposed."
It could take time for the league to review Williams' case, so there's a chance he could still play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Williams showed up only briefly at the team's headquarters just before noon Friday before driving off while his teammates were at practice.
"We don't know that yet," McDaniels said when asked about Williams' availability for Sunday. "I don't know all the facts on that, and this is going to involve more people than just us, but we're certainly going to do what's in the best interest of our organization."
None of those options are better than Williams, the fierce tackler whose leadership has been praised profusely by McDaniels and defensive coordinator Don Martindale in recent weeks.
Williams' trouble comes just as the Broncos were talking about getting healthy following their bye week and exuding an optimism about salvaging their season and jumping back into the AFC West race.
That Williams is a captain made his arrest all the more disheartening to an organization that has been shrouded in negativity during a monthlong skid that included a 45-point loss at home to the archrival Oakland Raiders.
"It's disappointing no matter who it is," McDaniels said. "The behavior and the fact we're two days away from a game is very disappointing to me and our entire organization."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press