The NFL has announced that they have suspended four Detroit Lions players ahead of the 2023 season. The NFL has handed six-game suspensions to Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill. At the same time, Quintez Cephus and CJ Moore have been suspended indefinitely. The Lions have released Cephus and Moore.
The different suspensions for these players reflect the infringements they committed. Cephus and Moore placed bets on NFL games last season. Williams and Berryhill recorded bets on non-NFL games while on NFL premises. The NFL prohibits all players from placing bets while on NFL grounds. That covers team facilities, planes, and hotels. As things stand, the exact timings of events are unclear. Nevertheless, it is a big story as the NFL continues to embrace gamification and betting.
Instant Analysis: Rules are Rules
Ultimately, rules are rules. Some of the NFL betting rules may seem draconian; however, they are the same for everyone. Following Calvin Ridley’s suspension, the NFL sought to reinforce its protocols to NFL players and staff.
For experienced players like Cephus and Moore to commit such a flagrant violation is staggering. Lions general manager Brad Holmes released this statement after the announcement; “These players exhibited decision-making inconsistent with our organizational values and violated league rules. We have decided to part ways with Quintez and C.J. immediately.” Moore, a special-teams stalwart, is a significant loss for that unit.
As for Williams and Berryhill, both players can participate in the Lions’ offseason activities before their suspension kicks on roster cut-down day.
The Lions offered this statement on these two players; “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.”
It is another setback for Williams in his stuttering career. After experiencing a tough rookie season following an ACL injury, Williams would have hoped for a full 17-game slate.
The Alabama Crimson Tide star’s representatives provided a statement on his behalf; “Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and apologizes to the NFL, his teammates, and the fans and city of Detroit. However, it is essential 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 – 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 NFL has again shown its teeth with these betting violations. The rules are the rules, and league members must abide by them.
What It Means for The Lions
Overall, it does not mean a lot. Quintez Cephus was a long shot to make the 53-man roster. Stanley Berryhill played six total offensive snaps, and 34 special teams snaps. CJ Moore will be a loss. He was a spark plug on special teams. And lastly, Jameson Williams still has 11 games on his docket. That is more games than he played in 2022, and the Lions still have Marvin Jones Jr, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond, Josh Reynolds, and Tom Kennedy as options at wide receiver.