The big news in the NFL today, despite the fact that we’re less than a week away from the 2023 NFL Draft, concerns one of the Minnesota Vikings’ division rivals.
The league has announced that four members of the Detroit Lions have been suspended for violating the NFL rules against gambling.
Wide receiver Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore were each suspended for a year for betting on NFL games, while wide receivers Stanley Berryhill and (most notably) Jameson Williams have been suspended for six games. The distinction comes from the fact that Cephus and Moore both bet on NFL games, which is a huge no-no and what got former Atlanta Falcons/current Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley a year’s suspension. Berryhill and Williams, on the other hand, bet on non-NFL events but apparently did so from the team facility.
Since the announcement was made, the Lions have announced that both Cephus and Moore have been let go by the team.
The league also announced that Washington Commanders’ defensive lineman Shaka Toney has been suspended for at least the 2023 season as well.
Williams, if you’ll recall, was a part of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s somewhat controversial trade in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft, where the Vikings traded all the way down to 32 to allow the Lions to move up to #12 and select Williams. Williams still wound up missing much of his rookie season while recovering from an injury, recording just one reception. . .a 41-yard touchdown catch against the Vikings (of course).
The Vikings used the pick from the trade down to select safety Lewis Cine, who also missed much of last season but will not be serving any sort of suspension stemming from not understanding the league’s gambling rules.
If I had to hazard a guess, I would assume that both of the Vikings’ games against the Lions this season will come after Williams has served his suspension, because why wouldn’t they? But there’s nothing official on that front yet.
So, if you wanted a little bit of drama in the final week before the 2023 NFL Draft, you’re going to have to look a little bit to the east.