Calvin Ridley, who sat out the 2022 NFL season after being suspended for breaking the league’s rules pertaining to gambling, was officially reinstated on Monday.
The league issued a two-sentence statement, noting he was eligible to participate in “all team activities, effective immediately,” with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
According to the league, Ridley, while still a member of the Atlanta Falcons, placed football wagers – including ones on the Falcons – after he had been placed on the non-football injury list by the team in November 2021. Ridley announced he needed time away from the game to address mental health issues.
Officially, the NFL suspended Ridley indefinitely for betting on league games but noted he was eligible to apply for reinstatement after the 2022 season officially ended last month, which he did.
‘Isolated Lapse in Judgment’
Ridley was traded to the Jaguars last November.
After the NFL reinstated him, his new team welcomed him to the squad on social media.
Coming soon to #DUUUVAL!!! pic.twitter.com/faXdHA482W
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) March 6, 2023
In a statement, the Jaguars said they “look forward to building a relationship” with the four-year-pro.
“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,” the team said.
Ridley, in a statement released by the Jags, said the league’s decision concludes “a challenging chapter of my professional career.” He described the wagering as a “self-inflicted” incident that stemmed from “an isolated lapse in judgment.”
I have always owned my mistakes and this is no different,” he added. “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.”
Before taking leave during the 2021 season, Ridley was establishing himself as one of the top receivers in the game. After catching 127 passes for 1,687 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first two seasons, he made 90 receptions for 1,374 yards during the 2020 season.
Ridley has been working out while serving the suspension. If he can regain his 2020 form, the 28-year-old should help bolster a team that reached the playoffs last season.
NFL Rules on Gambling
The NFL’s rules on gambling are fairly clear.
All league personnel cannot wager on any portion of an NFL game, practice or event. Nor can they participate in any illegal gambling ring. Players are allowed to bet on other sports. However, other league personnel, such as coaches, front office staff, and officials, cannot.
That led to former New York Jets receivers coach Miles Austin III being suspended in December. He is appealing that ruling.
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