NFL suspends three more for entire season for gambling, including another ex-Detroit Lion

Detroit Free Press

The NFL on Thursday suspended three players for at least a full season and another for six games in the latest batch of punishments for violations of the league’s gambling policy.

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers and defensive end Rashod Berry, along with free agent defensive tackle Demetrius Taylor, are all indefinitely suspended and must sit out at least the 2023 season before seeking reinstatement. All three were found to have placed wagers on NFL games last season, the league said in a statement.

Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere also was suspended for six games for placing bets at the team’s facility on non-NFL games.

Taylor was the only undrafted free agent to make the Detroit Lions roster last season. He played in one game last season and was released in May.

Earlier this offseason, five players were suspended for running afoul of the league’s gambling policies. On April 21, the league issued indefinite suspensions lasting through at least the 2023 season to three players who were found to have bet on NFL games: wide receiver Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore of the Lions and defensive end Shaka Toney of the Washington Commanders. Lions wide receivers Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill were also banned for six games for sports bets not involving NFL teams. Cephus, Moore and Berryhill were later released by the Lions.

JAMESON WILLIAMS: ‘I’m not a gambler, I’m a football player’

On June 5, the Colts confirmed in a statement that they were aware of an investigation into an unnamed player and would have no further comment. Rodgers posted a statement on Twitter later that day, saying he took “full responsibility for my actions.”

“I know I have made mistakes and I am willing to do whatever it takes to repair the situation,” Rodgers wrote. “The last thing I ever wanted to do was to be a distraction to the Colts organization, my coaches, and my teammates. I’ve let people down that I care about.

“I made an error in judgment and I am going to work hard to make sure that those mistakes are rectified through this process. It’s an honor to play in the NFL and I have never taken that lightly. I am very sorry for all of this.”

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley, a 2018 first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons who recorded 90 catches and 1,374 receiving yards in 2020, was suspended all of last season for gambling on NFL games. He was dealt to the Jacksonville Jaguars at last year’s trade deadline, and the league officially reinstated him in March.

Rodgers, 25, first made a name for himself as a sixth-round pick with his work as a kick returner. After starting nine games last year, he was expected to play a key role in the Indianapolis secondary following the team’s decision to trade top cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys. Now, first-year coach Shane Steichen and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley might have to count on second-round rookie Julius Brents to hold down a starting role on the outside.

Petit-Frere started all 16 games for the Titans last season as a third-round rookie out of Ohio State, and he had been set to hold down the right tackle spot again this year.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

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