INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL suspended three players indefinitely Thursday for violating the league’s gambling policy and sidelined a fourth player for six games.
Cornerback Isaiah Rodgers Sr. , a prospective starter for the Indianapolis Colts, and fellow freshman Rashod Berry, a backup defensive end, both received indefinite suspensions and were subsequently waived by the team.
Rodgers, Berry and free agent Demetrius Taylor, who also received an indefinite suspension, cannot seek reinstatement until after the 2023 season. Taylor bet on NFL games in 2022 and Rodgers faced the same accusation.
The Colts wasted no time deciding what to do.
“We have taken the following actions on the list as a result of our determination that these players violated the league’s gambling policy,” Indy general manager Chris Ballard said in a statement. “The safety of the game is of the utmost importance. As an organization, we will continue to educate our players, coaches, and staff on the policies in place and the significant consequences that may occur with violations.”
Right tackle Tennessee titans Nicholas Petey Frere has been suspended for the first six games of the 2023 season for betting on non-NFL sports at the team’s facility. He is eligible to participate in all preseason activities, including preseason games.
Betty Frere and Berry were college roommates at Ohio State.
“We believe in Bank and know that he deeply respects the integrity of the game and our organization,” the Titans said in a statement. “We will continue to stress to our players the importance of understanding and abiding by the league’s rules and policies.”
The NFL’s gambling policy prohibits players, coaches, league officials, and teams from betting on NFL games, betting on team facilities or hotels, or having someone else bet on them, among other restrictions.
With many states legalizing sportsbooks specifically and gambling in general, leagues like the NFL must increasingly deal with gambling infractions.
In April, the NFL suspended five players, four of them with the Detroit Lions, for gambling infractions.
The Lions have released three players – receivers Quintez Cephus and Stanley Berryhill, and safety CJ Moore. Cephus and Moore were suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games while Berryhill and receiver Jameson Williams each received six-game suspensions for betting on non-NFL games.
Williams, ranked No. 12 in the 2022 draft, remains on Detroit’s roster.
Defensive end for the Washington Chiefs Shaka Tony received an indefinite suspension in April for betting on NFL games.In 2022, then-NFL receiver Calvin Ridley gave Atlanta Falcons a season-long suspension for betting. He was reinstated in March and now plays for Jacksonville.
Losing Rodgers is a huge blow to the Colts’ secondary who are already undergoing reconstruction. The UMass fourth-year player was expected to add a veteran voice to the youth center room.
Losing Petit Frere up to six matches hurts the Titans. He was the only player to return from the starting offensive line last year in the same position.
Petit Frere issued a statement to ESPN who shared it on social media He apologized to the Titans and his family. He also explained that his bet did not involve the NFL and was legal under Tennessee law.
“It was only sanctioned because it happened in the Titans facility…,” Petit Frere said in his statement. “I have always strived at every stage of my life to follow the rules. Even after attending a league presentation, I was unaware of the ins and outs of placing bets from a team facility.”
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Petit-Frere was Tennessee’s third-round pick last year out of Ohio State, and he beat out the Dillon Radones for the starting job at right tackle. Petit-Frere started all 16 games as a starter, helping block the NFL’s No. 2 starter in Derrick Henry.
New general manager Ran Carthon rebuilt that offensive line in the offseason, signing Andre Dillard from Philadelphia as the Titans’ new left tackle and Daniel Bronskill from the 49ers as right guard. He drafted Peter Skowronski with their first-round pick, likely starting at left guard.
Berry spent most of last season in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ coaching lineup after being signed by the New England Patriots as a non-starter in 2020. Andy placed Berry on his active list on January 4.