As announced on Mar. 6, the NFL has fully reinstated Calvin Ridley. Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver was suspended indefinitely since March last year for violating the league’s US sports betting policy.
After betting on NFL games, the league suspended Ridley for the whole 2022 season. He was then traded from Atlanta Falcons to Jacksonville Jaguars in November last year.
Ridley had applied for reinstatement from his indefinite suspension for gambling on NFL games on Feb. 15. The 28-year-old can now participate in all team activities, effective immediately.
Ridley says his US sports betting was a lapse in judgment
Ridley’s last NFL game was on Oct. 24, 202. After the game, Ridley announced he was stepping away from football to focus on his mental health. The yearlong suspension then came down.
Earlier this week, Ridley said in a statement:
“Today’s reinstatement by the NFL brings an end to a challenging chapter of my professional career, one that was self-inflicted and began with an isolated lapse in judgment. I have always owned my mistakes and this is no different. I have great respect for the game and am excited for the opportunity to restart my career in Jacksonville.”
In 2022, the NFL said that his gambling allegedly occurred in late November 2021. Ridley was away from the team and the club’s facility on the non-football illness list.
Riley tweeted he “bet 1500 total” but added that he has no gambling problem. The NFL investigated and found no evidence that Ridley’s actions compromised any game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars got a boost to their offense
The Jaguars welcomed the NFL’s decision. The team released a statement saying they were looking forward to having Ridley in their offense: “The Jaguars organization is aware of the NFL’s ruling to reinstate Calvin Ridley. We look forward to building a relationship with Calvin as both an individual and as a player.
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 will start offseason workouts on Apr. 17. Ridley’s reinstatement will greatly benefit the Jaguars’ offense. Ridley combines field-stretching capability with crisp route-running. During his first three seasons in Atlanta, he generated 3,061 yards and 26 TDs on 217 catches.
According to NFL.com, Ridley won two national championships and was a first-round draft pick for the Falcons in 2018. He had 248 receptions and 28 touchdowns in 49 games in Atlanta.