Four Detroit Lions, including promising second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams, have been suspended for violating the NFL’s gambling policy, according to a press release the league sent out Friday.
Quintez Cephus, who mustered just two catches for 15 yards throughout the entire 2022 season, and safety C.J. Moore, who had seven tackles last year, are suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games. Detroit immediately released the two players, as the Washington Commanders did with the similarly punished Shaka Toney, but all can petition for NFL reinstatement after the 2023 season.
Williams, a former first-rounder whose lone 2022 catch resulted in a 41-yard touchdown, will serve a six-game suspension, reportedly for betting on college football games from a mobile device at the Lions’ Allen Park training facility. The same punishment has been meted out to fellow second-year wideout Stanley Berryhill, who caught no passes last year.
The Lions also reportedly fired several staff members last month for violating the league’s gambling policy.
It’s worth noting that had Williams or Berryhill crossed the street to Leo’s Coney Island (or whatever fast-food restaurant is a stone’s throw from team property), ordered a milkshake, and placed their college football bets there, that would have been perfectly acceptable, as the NFL only prohibits legal wagering on non-NFL events while on team property or during official travel.
So I could bet from home, but not in the team's facility… pic.twitter.com/mx3fSQZuDo
— Peedi (@PeediPaulo) April 21, 2023
Williams’ agent, Rocky Arceneaux, released the following statement to the National Football Post:
“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.”
Betting on NFL games, however, is a firm no-no. Hence, Lions head coach Dan Campbell will have to find a way to replace Cephus’ pair of catches and Moore’s septet of tackles this coming season.
Photo: Nic Antaya/Getty Images