NFL Doles out Suspensions to Vikings Rival

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Oddsmakers slate the Detroit Lions to win the NFC North in 2023, and that task became more difficult Friday.

Four Lions players and one Washington Commanders defender were suspended for gambling, a bombshell development with the NFL draft just six days away.

NFL Doles out Suspensions to Vikings Rival

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted, “Sources: NFL suspended 5 players, including Lions WR Jameson Williams, for violations of NFL gambling policy. Lions’ CJ Moore & Quintez Cephus, plus Commanders’ Shaka Toney, are suspended indefinitely (at least 1 year). Williams & DET’s Stanley Berryhill are suspended 6 games.”

Vikings Must Navigate Hot Lions to Clinch North
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports.

These are the alleged lengths of the suspension and players involved:

  • Lions WR Jameson Williams: 6 games
  • Lions S CJ Moore: Indefinitely
  • Lions WR Quintez Cephus: Indefinitely
  • Lions WR Stanley Berryhill: 6 games
  • Commanders DE Shaka Toney: Indefinitely

Williams fetched the major [bad] headlines thanks to his 2022 draft stock. He was the 12th overall pick by Detroit — thanks to the Minnesota Vikings — and will now be on the shelf for six games in 2023, barring a successful appeal.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes remarked on the infractions, “These players exhibited decision making that is not consistent with our organizational values and violates league rules. We have made the decision to part ways with Quintez and C.J. immediately.”

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

“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,” Holmes concluded.

Four other members — presumably non-players — were also discovered as culprits in violating the NFL’s gambling policy, although details of their identities and actions were vague.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, first round picks receiver Jamison Williams and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson pose for a picture with GM Brad Holmes during the press conference Friday, April 29, 2022 at the Detroit Lions practice facility in Allen Park. MAIN Lionspicks. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The now-suspended players — Williams, Moore, Cephus, Berryhill, and Toney — were said to have placed bets on college games inside NFL team facilities, which is disallowed.

Before the gambling revelations, Detroit lived in the driver’s seat to win the NFC North (or Central) for the first time since 1991:

  • Lions (+140)
  • Vikings (+250)
  • Bears (+350)
  • Packers (+475)

The moneylines are unlikely to change substantially, but the budding scandal does dampen the generalized enthusiasm that the franchise harbored after preventing the Green Bay Packers from entering the postseason 3.5 months ago.

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for gambling in March 2022, and that lasted a full season. It is unclear why this batch of players will receive less.

Detroit has the 6th and 18th overall picks in next week’s draft.

Williams joined the Lions last year as part of a trade with the Vikings that sent Lewis Cine to Minnesota via the 32nd overall pick (and Andrew Booth, Ed Ingram + Brian Asamoah later on). He caught one pass in 2022, a touchdown against — you guessed it — the Vikings.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by