News of Widespread Gambling Leads to Suspension of Detroit Lions’ Players

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25/04/2023/
News
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Highlights

  • Four Detroit Lions bagged lengthy game suspensions from the NFL after they were found to have violated its gambling policy.
  • Two Lions were indefinitely suspended for betting on NFL matches, while the two others got six-game suspensions.
  • With four key players out for the start of the season, the Lions could well face tough odds in the upcoming NFC Championship.

The Detroit Lions ended the 2022 NFL season quite poorly, failing to qualify for postseason or win its first NFC title. Unfortunately, the woes just seem to pile up as the Lions will be without four major players at the start of the new season. This is after the NFL axed four Lions players for breaches of its gambling policy.

In an announcement by the Detroit Lions manager, two players were sacked indefinitely while another two bagged suspensions of the first six games of the 2023-24 season. This news makes it the second consecutive report of widespread gambling in the Detroit Lions camp.

Detroit Lions Part Ways with Quintez Cephus and C.J. Moore After Gambling Violation

After extensive investigations into cases of gambling on football games, the NFL made the tough call to out several players in the Detroit Lions ranks. In a report published by ESPN, the NFL indefinitely suspended Quintez Cephus and C.J. Moore alongside Washington Commanders’ defensive end, Shaka Toney. All players were found guilty of violating the NFL gambling policy by placing bets on NFL games in the past season.

Immediately after the NFL made its decision, the Detroit Lions also announced that the two players were sacked from the team. Speaking on behalf of the team, General Manager Brad Holmes expressed disappointment at the actions of the players and made it clear that the football team was parting ways with them.

“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,” Holmes clarified during the announcement. “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.”

This is not the first time that a member of the Lions was found guilty of violating the NFL gambling policy. Just last month, multiple Lions staff members were dismissed for a similar offense. According to the NFL policy, players and personnel are restricted from betting on NFL games, drafts or league-related activities available on sportsbooks.

Cephus and Moore can reapply to the NFL for reinstatement after one year. However, it’s certain that they will be playing any part with the Lions in the coming seasons. This action is very similar to what went down with Calvin Ridley during the 2022-23 season. Ridley was suspended for betting on games while he was a player for the Atlanta Falcons. He will return for the 2023-24 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jameson Williams and Co-Sophomore Receiver, Berryhill Out for Six Games

Alongside Cephus and Moore, two Detroit receivers will also be suspended for six games at the start of the upcoming season. Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill were also found guilty by the NFL, but on lesser charges. Williams and Berryhill bet on non-NFL games from a club facility.

It’s worth noting that the NFL did not discover any evidence that any of the players used inside information in their bets or that the games were compromised by the bets. However, the Lions have also expressed displeasure with the actions of its two receivers.

"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,” Brad Holmes said in a statement.

This wave of suspensions may deal a huge blow to the Detroit Lions after they were tipped by NFL betting apps as top contenders for the NFC Championship. Williams had already missed 11 games due to a torn ACL after coming into the Lions team as the 12th pick from the last NFL Draft. But he’s had a strong showing in the few games he played.

Reviewing the Partnership Between the NFL, the Lions and Multiple Michigan Sports Betting Apps

Despite its stern culture towards sports betting by its players and employees, the NFL has, in fact, partnered with multiple sportsbooks over the years. Caesars, WynnBet, DraftKings, BetMGM and FanDuel are some of the sportsbooks that the NFL has collaborated with at different times. The same goes for the Detroit Lions.

Currently, BetMGM Michigan Sportsbook is one of the leading official sponsors of the Lions. Besides the Lions home stadium, Fort Field is home to several Michigan sportsbooks. WynnBet Sportsbook has a bar in a section of the stadium while there are several signages for other casinos and sports betting apps.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, casino.zone and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments