Detroit Lions WR Suspended
Following a league investigation, five players were punished for breaking the NFL’s gambling rules, including four Lions players and 2022 first-round selection Jameson Williams.
Quintez Cephus, a wide receiver for the Lions, and C.J. Moore, a safety, together with Shaka Toney, a defensive end for the Washington Commanders, were all given indefinite suspensions for placing bets on NFL games. After a year, they may petition for reinstatement, notwithstanding Detroit’s announcement that its two players had been discharged.
Sources: NFL suspended 5 players, including #Lions WR Jameson Williams, for violations of NFL gambling policy. #Lions’ CJ Moore & Quintez Cephus, plus #Commanders' Shaka Toney, are suspended indefinitely (at least 1 year). Williams & DET’s Stanley Berryhill are suspended 6 games. pic.twitter.com/Jnmzn8iKzj
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 21, 2023
Williams and Stanley Berryhill, both wide receivers in their second seasons, will miss six games apiece due to mobile betting that took place at the Lions’ Allen Park facility. According to the team, these two didn’t wager on NFL games.
In its release, the NFL stated that it had not found any proof that any insider knowledge had been exploited or that any game had been tainted by player wagering.
Before the NFL made a decision, the Lions were made aware of the inquiry around a month ago.
“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,” Detroit 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.”
In addition to these sanctions, a source informed ESPN that other Lions employees from a number of areas were fired last month for breaking the team’s no-gambling policy.
Additionally, the Commanders issued a statement confirming that they were informed of Toney’s suspension.
“We have cooperated fully with the NFL’s investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions,” the team said. “All further questions on the topic should be directed to the NFL League Office.”
“Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and is very apologetic to the NFL, his teammates and the fans and city of Detroit,” Alliance Sports said. “However, it is important to note that Jameson’s violation was not for betting on football but rather due to a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed — and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility. Jameson would never intentionally jeopardize the integrity of the game he loves so much and looks forward to getting back to his team as soon as possible.”
Williams showed flashes of his playmaking potential in a limited role for the Lions in 2022 after they moved up to select him at No. 12 overall. On his lone reception in his rookie campaign, Williams scored a 41-yard touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.
Williams recently participated in throwing workouts with numerous Lions teammates and quarterback Jared Goff in California to build rapport. Additionally, he attended this week’s Lions’ voluntarily scheduled offseason practices.
Williams and Berryhill are eligible to take part in team-organized activities, minicamp, training camp, and the preseason, but they won’t be able to play in regular-season games until Week 7.
Similar to wide receiver Calvin Ridley of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cephus, Moore, and Toney are being punished. For wagers he placed in November 2021 that included the Atlanta Falcons, the team he was playing for at the time, Ridley was suspended for the 2022 season. The NFL reinstated Ridley this March.