Four members of the Detroit Lions and a member of the Washington Commanders have been handed down suspensions of varying lengths by the NFL for wagering on sports.
The Detroit quartet includes safety C.J. Moore and wideout Quintez Cephus, who are suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL contests, according to ESPN.
Two other Lions, wideouts Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill, were suspended six games for betting on non-NFL action inside the team’s facility, which is against league rules.
Williams was a first-round pick by the Lions in 2022.
Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney was the other player suspended indefinitely, putting the final note on the largest pool of players to be suspended for wagering in recent years.
In a league statement sent out on Friday morning, the NFL said that there was no evidence of inside information being used to compromise any of the games on which the players placed bets.
“The gambling policy, which is annually renewed with all NFL personnel, including players, prohibits anyone in the NFL from engaging in any form of gambling in any club or league facility or venue, including the practice facility,” the statement reads. “A league review uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way.”
A representative from the Lions confirmed to BetMichigan.com that Cephus and Moore had been released by the franchise, effective immediately.
“As a result of an NFL investigation, it came to our attention that a few of our players had violated the league’s gambling policy,” read the statement from Detroit Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes. “These players exhibited decision making that is not consistent with our organizational values and violates league rules. We have made the decision to part ways with Quintez and C.J. immediately. We are disappointed by the decision making demonstrated by Stanley and Jameson and will work with both players to ensure they understand the severity of these violations and have clarity on the league rules moving forward.”
When 4 Lions Players Can Rejoin NFL Teams
The trio of indefinitely suspended players are banned for the entirety of the 2023 NFL regular season.
The impacted players can petition for reinstatement at the conclusion of the regular season, the league’s release said, though the final decision likely will rest with commissioner Roger Goodell.
As for Williams and Berryhill, both can rejoin the Lions after sitting out the team’s first six regular season games, meaning they would be able to rejoin the team sometime in mid-October.
Williams was a first team All-American in his final season at Alabama. Berryhill was an undrafted free agent in 2022 out of Arizona.
Williams, who sat out most of his rookie season due to injury, finished his rookie campaign with one catch for 41 yards and a touchdown. Berryhill didn’t appear in any games in 2022.
NFL Players Who Have Been Suspended for Gambling
The five NFL players who were suspended on Friday join a list of those who have been suspended for betting.
The last player to be suspended for wagering was Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley (now with the Jaguars), who was suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games during the 2021 regular season.
Four other players have been suspended for wagering in league history, including Alex Karras of the Lions and Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers in 1963, quarterback Art Schlicter in 1983 and Josh Shaw of the Cardinals in 2019.
Now, the NFL will double the number of gambling suspensions in league history in one day, with Moore, Cephus, Williams, Berryhill and Toney joining an unenviable list of players who have been suspended for betting on sports.
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