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Five NFL players suspended for violating league’s gambling policy

Former first-round draft pick Jameson Williams was given a six-game ban by the NFL.

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The NFL got its Friday news dump out of the way early this morning, suspending five players for violating the league’s gambling policy. Four of them play(ed) for the Detroit Lions, who apparently were all about gambling.

Indefinite suspensions were handed down to Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus, Detroit safety C.J. Moore, and Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney, while Lions 2022 first-round pick Jameson Williams and receiver Stanley Berryhill received six-game regular season bans. The Lions have already released Cephus and Moore.

“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,” Lions general manager Brad Holmes said in a statement. “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.”

ESPN also reported that “Separate from these punishments, several Lions staff members in various departments were dismissed last month for violating the gambling policy.”

Ian Rapoport says Williams and Berryhill were busted for betting inside the team facility on college games.

Gambling is in your face every waking moment no matter what American sports broadcast you watch, and we (SB Nation) obviously have a partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook. With all of that said, players and other personnel still can’t gamble on NFL games, and while players can gamble on non-NFL games, they can’t do it at the team facility like Williams and Berryhill did.

From the NFL’s gambling policy (H/T former Field Gulls writer Sean Clement):

Betting on Other Sports: All NFL Personnel other than Players are further prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating bets on any other professional (e.g., NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, USTA, MLS), college (e.g., NCAA basketball), international (e.g., World Baseball Classic, World Cup), or Olympic sports competition, tournament or event.


Gambling in the Workplace: NFL Personnel shall not engage in any form of gambling while in any Club or League setting including, without limitation, locker rooms, practice or office facilities, team buses, trains, flights, or hotels, or while traveling on Club or League business. For clarity, playing cards or other casino-type games is permitted as long as nothing of value is wagered.

This news in itself has doubled the number of NFL players suspended in league history for gambling. Jacksonville Jaguars wideout Calvin Ridley was the most recent suspension and he’s since been reinstated.

While my “which players will get suspended for gambling” ticket is officially in shambles, this news is potentially relevant to the Seattle Seahawks given Williams figured to be a huge part of Detroit’s passing offense now that he’s recovered from his ACL tear. The Seahawks are at the Lions for a second season in a row, and depending on when that game is scheduled, Williams could miss the Seattle showdown just as he did last year.

In the meantime, if you’re going to gamble, please do it responsibly and not at your place of work.