NFL suspends 3 players indefinitely, fourth gets 6 games for violating gambling policy

by Sophia Chen
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NFL Suspends Three Players Indefinitely, Fourth Receives Six-Game Suspension for Violating Gambling Policy

On Thursday, the NFL handed indefinite suspensions to three players who violated the league’s gambling policy, while a fourth player was sidelined for six games. Isaiah Rodgers Sr., a cornerback projected to be a starter for the Indianapolis Colts, and his new teammate Rashod Berry, a backup defensive end, both received indefinite suspensions and were subsequently released by the team.

Rodgers, Berry, and free agent Demetrius Taylor, who also received an indefinite suspension, will not be eligible for reinstatement until after the 2023 season. Taylor was involved in betting on NFL games in 2022, and Rodgers faced similar accusations.

In other news, the NBA offseason is becoming increasingly hectic, with free agents like Kyrie Irving contemplating moves. Additionally, Kari Jalonen has been fired as the coach of the Czech national team due to poor results at the world championship. The Milwaukee Brewers have sent right-handed reliever Strzelecki to the minors and called up lefty Pannone. Soccer’s transfer window is expected to see top players on the move.

The Indianapolis Colts wasted no time in taking action. General manager Chris Ballard announced, “We have made the following roster moves as a consequence of determining that these players violated the league’s gambling policy. Maintaining the integrity of the game is of utmost importance. As an organization, we will continue to educate our players, coaches, and staff on the policies in place and the significant consequences of violations.”

Tennessee Titans right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere has been suspended for the first six games of the 2023 season for betting on non-NFL sports at the team’s facility. He will be allowed to participate in all offseason and preseason activities, including preseason games. Petit-Frere and Berry were teammates at Ohio State during their college years.

The Titans expressed their faith in Petit-Frere, stating, “We believe in Nick and know that he has a deep respect for the integrity of the game and our organization. We will continue to emphasize to our players the importance of understanding and adhering to league rules and policies.”

The NFL’s gambling policy prohibits players, coaches, league officials, and team officials from betting on NFL games, placing bets at team facilities or team hotels, or having others place bets on their behalf, among other restrictions. With the legalization of sportsbooks and gambling in many states, leagues like the NFL face an increasing challenge in dealing with gambling-related infractions.

In April, the NFL suspended five players, four of them from the Detroit Lions, for gambling infractions. The Lions released three players—receivers Quintez Cephus and Stanley Berryhill and safety C.J. Moore. Cephus and Moore received indefinite suspensions for betting on NFL games, while Berryhill and receiver Jameson Williams received six-game suspensions for betting on non-NFL games. Jameson Williams, the 12th overall pick in the 2022 draft, remains on the Detroit Lions’ roster.

Shaka Toney, a defensive end for the Washington Commanders, also received an indefinite suspension in April for betting on NFL games. In 2022, the NFL issued a season-long suspension to then-Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley for betting. Ridley was reinstated in March and now plays for the Jacksonville team.

Losing Isaiah Rodgers is a significant blow to the Indianapolis Colts’ secondary, which is already undergoing reconstruction. The fourth-year player from UMass was expected to bring veteran leadership to a young group of players.

The absence of Nicholas Petit-Frere, even for six games, is a setback for the Tennessee Titans. He was the only returning starter from last year’s offensive line, occupying the same position.

Petit-Frere released a statement through ESPN, which he shared on social media, apologizing to the Titans and his family. He clarified that his betting activities did not involve the NFL and were legal under Tennessee law. Petit-Frere stated, “It is only being sanctioned because it occurred at the Titans facility… I have always strived to follow the rules in every stage of my life. Even after attending a league presentation, I was unaware of the specifics surrounding placing bets from a team facility.”

Petit-Frere, standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 315 pounds, was Tennessee’s third-round pick last year from Ohio State. He won the starting right tackle job, starting in all 16 games as a rookie and contributing to blocking for Derrick Henry, the NFL’s second-leading rusher.

During the offseason, new general manager Ran Carthon rebuilt the Titans’ offensive line by signing Andre Dillard from the Philadelphia team as the potential new left tackle and acquiring Daniel Brunskill from the 49ers as the right guard. They also selected Peter Skoronski as their first-round pick, who is expected to start at left guard.

Rashod Berry spent most of last season on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad after being signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted rookie in 2020. The Indianapolis Colts added Berry to their active roster on January 4.

AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, also contributed to this report.

AP NFL: https://bigbignews.net/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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