Calvin Ridley Reinstated by NFL After Gambling Ban, Will Join Jaguars for 2023 Season

  • Ridley was suspended in March 2022 and missed the entire 2022 season
  • He placed bets on NFL games while taking a mental health break
  • The Jaguars support the NFL’s decision to reinstate their wideout
  • Team owner Shad Khan has shown support for sports betting
Jacksonville Jaguars
The NFL has reinstated Calvin Ridley after he missed the entire 2022 season serving a suspension for gambling on NFL games. [Image:]

Calvin Ridley reinstated

The NFL has reinstated wide receiver Calvin Ridley after he was suspended indefinitely for gambling on games while playing for the Atlanta Falcons.

eligible to participate in all team activities”

“Ridley, who had been suspended indefinitely since March 2022 for violating the NFL’s gambling policy, is eligible to participate in all team activities, effective immediately,” league officials said on Monday this week.

Ridley, 28, was suspended in March for gambling violations during the 2021 season and traded from the Falcons to the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 1. He has not partaken in any games for either franchise.

The wide receiver is set to report to the Jaguars’ offseason workouts in April. He last played in an NFL game in October 2021.

Finding a way back

Ridley applied for reinstatement immediately after the conclusion of the 2021 season.

“I have always owned my mistakes and this is no different,” Ridley said in a statement. “I have great respect for the game and am excited for the opportunity to restart my career in Jacksonville. I look forward to showing my new coaches, teammates, and the entire Jaguars organization exactly who I am and what I represent as a player and person.”

Ridley placed six bets on Falcons games that totaled $3,900

According to documents obtained by Sports Handle, Ridley placed six bets on Falcons games that totaled $3,900. That’s greater than the initially-reported figures of $1,500 over three bets and more than Ridley admitted to placing publicly in March 2022: 

Five of the bets were parlays that included the Falcons’ moneyline, meaning Ridley picked his then-team to win. He also bet $1,300 on Atlanta’s team total during a 21-14 win over his new team, the Jags, on November 28, 2021. In addition, Ridley allegedly placed two $100 bets on non-Falcons games that turned into $654 returns. 

All of the bets were placed during a time when Ridley was away from the Falcons and supposedly focusing on his mental health in 2021. In a statement released at the time, he said: “These past few weeks have been very challenging and as much as I’d like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing.” He had already missed a Week 5 game against the New York Jets three weeks prior for the same reason.

A new home

The Jaguars issued a statement in support of the NFL’s decision to allow Ridley to return to the gridiron.

Calvin is a proven playmaker”

“We look forward to building a relationship with Calvin as both an individual and as a player,” the Jaguars’ statement read. “Calvin is a proven playmaker and we are excited to see him compete among and with his new teammates, first during our Offseason Program in April and ultimately into the 2023 season, as we collectively pursue a championship for Jacksonville.”

Jacksonville was one of the most exciting teams in the back half of the 2022 season. Trevor Lawrence and company managed to rip off six wins in their last seven regular-season games to steal the AFC South title and earn a first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. After going down 27-0, Jacksonville mounted an improbable comeback and won 31-30 to move into the divisional round, where they fell to the future Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs.

Notably, the Jaguars have partnered with sports betting companies including FanDuel in the past. The team owner Shad Khan has also maintained the belief that sports betting will help the NFL’s franchises by increasing value. “There’s a huge amount of during-the-event betting,” Khan said back in 2019. “I absolutely think the best days of the NFL are ahead of it, especially now with the international availability. It’s going to explode, in a good way.”

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