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Lions WR Jameson Williams Among 5 Suspended by NFL For Gambling Policy Violations

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 3 mins

Lions WR Jameson Williams Among 5 Suspended by NFL For Gambling Policy Violations

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The NFL Friday announced that five players, most notably Lions' 2022 first-round pick Jameson Williams, have been suspended for violating the league's gambling policy.

Williams and teammate Stanley Berryhill, two of four Lions implicated, are suspended for the team's first six regular season games of the 2023 season. They are eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason activities, including preseason games. 

Quintez Cephus and C.J. Moore, both of the Lions last season, and Shaka Toney of the Washington Commanders, were suspended indefinitely through at least the conclusion of the 2023 season for betting on NFL games in the 2022 season. Cephus and Moore have since been released by the Lions following the news.

These players may petition for reinstatement at the conclusion of the 2023 season. The NFL offered no details on which sports or games the players placed wagers on but said a league review found no evidence that any inside information was used or that any NFL game was “compromised” in any manner. 

All suspensions will take effect at the final roster cutdown.

Williams and Berryhill did not bet on NFL games, but the issue stems from the fact they placed bets from the Lions' facility, which is against NFL policy.

Williams' agency, Alliance Sports, released the following statement clarifying its client's role in the gambling violations:

Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and is very apologetic to the NFL, his teammates and the fans and city of Detroit.

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.

The league has a strict anti-gambling policy for players, team and league personnel, and anyone else associated with The Shield that prohibits anyone in the NFL from engaging in any form of gambling in any club or league facility or venue, including the practice facility.

Williams' suspension is similar to the last NFL gambling suspension, which came in December when Jets WR coach Miles Austin was given a one-year suspension for betting on other sports at the Jets' facility.

Earlier this week, the NFL joined several other pro leagues and a pair of partner networks in forming a coalition for responsible sports betting advertising. That move was welcomed by representatives of DraftKings and FanDuel that commented to Bookies.com, in addition to regulators in Massachusetts who commented on that news. 

Calvin Ridley was suspended last year for NFL betting during the 2021 season. Ridley, who was playing with the Falcons at the time, wagered on games while he was out injured while visiting in Florida. 

At the time, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Ridley “put the integrity of the game at risk.” Ridley became the fifth player to join the list of those suspended or banned for betting while playing in the NFL since 1963.

Ridley was the second NFL player suspended since the Supreme Court legalized sports betting nationwide in 2018. Then-Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw was suspended by Commissioner Goodell after he visited a Las Vegas casino and placed bets on several sporting events while on IR.

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.