Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers is expected to be suspended for the entire 2023 season, a gambling suspension that is among several set to be laid down by the NFL this week, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, Rodgers’ suspension could last more than one season.
The Steelers play the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Dec. 17. Rodgers has been expected to be one of Indy’s starting cornerbacks, with 2022 third-round pick Nick Cross, 2023 second-round pick Jarius Brents and 2023 fifth-rounder Darius Rush competing to man the other spot. Now, it looks like both Colts starting cornerback slots will be manned by inexperienced players this season.
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The NFL has been cracking down on gambling violations this season. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for violating the league’s gambling policy.
This year, Detroit Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus, safety C.J. Moore and Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney were all suspended for a year. Lions receivers Stanley Berryhill and Jameson Williams earned six-game suspensions, in addition to the expected additions to that list.
Players suspended for a year were caught gambling on NFL games. Those suspended for six games were disciplined for gambling on non-NFL games while at a team facility or traveling with the team.
The league and NFLPA have also been working together to increase player education about the gambling rules and potential violations.
“We are very explicit in the training to explain that if you are involved with the NFL, you can never bet on the NFL,” vice president David Highhill said to ESPN earlier this offseason. “There should be no misunderstanding on the policies.”
Steelers captain Cam Heyward said that head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the team this spring regarding gambling and that there’s no reason it should be an issue.
“It’s pretty straightforward,” he said. “Don’t bet on games. You try to keep it competitive. I’d hate to think that somebody is trying to shave off points to cover the under or the over. I don’t like betting.”
Pennsylvania is one of 24 states that have legalized sports betting, including online bets. Those states house 18 of the 32 NFL teams. The Steelers will not be one of the teams to take advantage of a new-for-2023 NFL rules that allows sportsbooks on stadium property, because Pennsylvania law prohibits them from doing so.