The NFL has continued to show its zero-tolerance policy as it relates to players gambling on games. The latest hammer the league has thrown came this week when the NFL suspended Colts veteran cornerback Isaiah Rodgers, Colts defensive end Rashod Berry, and free agent defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor indefinitely. Titans offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere was also suspended for six games.
This came after an investigation by the league that found Rodgers, Berry and Taylor all wagered on games during the 2022 NFL season. Rodgers and Berry Stanley Berryhill III (six games), Jameson Williams (six games) and Quintez Cephus (indefinitely). Lions safety C.J. Moore (indefinitely) and Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney (indefinitely) were also suspended for gambling. Cephus and Moore were both released by Detroit shortly after their punishments were announced.by the Colts. Meanwhile, Petit-Frere was only given a six-game ban because he bet on a non-NFL sport, but it came while at the team facility. Earlier this offseason, the NFL suspended five players for similar gambling infractions, including three Lions wide receivers --
So, in the course of one offseason, more players have been suspended by the NFL for gambling (nine) than all the prior seasons combined (five) in league history.
Here's a look at each of those five players who previously ran afoul of the NFL because of gambling and what happened to them following their suspension.
Alex Karras (1963)
One of the most dominant defensive players of the early 1960s, Karras was 28 when he served a one-year suspension after he admitted to placing bets on NFL games along with Packers running back Paul Hornung (more on him later). Before his suspension, Karras was urged by league officials to sell his financial interest in a Detroit-area bar following reports of gambling, among other things.
Karras, who reprised his pro wrestling career during his suspension, was reinstated on March 16, 1964. He played seven more years for the Lions that included his third All-Pro nod and fourth Pro Bowl selection in 1965. Despite 100 career sacks and a spot on the Hall of Fame All-1960s Team, Karras was not enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame until 2020, nearly eight years after he passed away at the age of 77.
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Paul Hornung (1963)
Nicknamed the "Golden Boy," Hornung's sparkling reputation was hardly tarnished despite his one-year suspension. An All-Pro kicker and running back prior to his suspension, Hornung returned to help the Packers win NFL championships in 1965 and '66. A neck injury forced a then 31-year-old Hornung to retire before the start of the 1967 season. A 1986 Hall of Fame inductee, Hornung holds NFL records for the most games with at least 30 points (twice) and 25 points (three times).
Art Schlichter (1983)
As a rookie, the former Ohio State star attempted 37 regular-season passes with the Colts before he was suspended for the '83 season. Schlichter was suspended for 13 months after he lost nearly $500,000 betting on basketball games. Schlichter played just two more years in the NFL following his suspension, but he enjoyed success in the Arena Football League, where he was named league MVP after leading the Detroit Drive to a win in Arena Bowl IV.
Schlichter recently completed a 10-year sentence after he pled guilty to chargers of theft and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Josh Shaw (2019)
A former defensive back, Shaw was on injured reserve when he was suspended through the 2020 season after betting on NFL games. Shaw, who was a member of the Cardinals at the time of his suspension, has not played in an NFL game since he was reinstated on March 20, 2021.
Calvin Ridley (2022)
Ridley, a former first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2018 NFL Draft (26th overall), received an indefinite suspension in March of 2022 and earned NFL reinstatement during the 2023 offseason. During his time sitting out, the Jacksonville Jaguars acquired the talented pass-catcher for 2023 and 2024 conditional draft picks. Ridley's last full season came in 2020 when he put up a career-high 1,374 receiving yards and on a career-high 90 catches in addition to nine receiving touchdowns. His last game played was Week 7 of the 2021 season at the Miami Dolphins.
From 2018-2021, the seasons Ridley has played in, only two members of the 2018 Draft amassed over 3,000 career receiving yards and 25 career receiving touchdowns: Ridley (3,342 receiving yards and 28 receiving touchdowns) and Baltimore Ravens All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews (3,466 receiving yards and 29 receiving touchdowns).