Calvin Ridley reinstated to the NFL after betting on the sport

NFL player Calvin Ridley
Image: Shutterstock

After more than a year away from official league activities, NFL wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been reinstated by the league. Ridley was suspended for a season after the league learned he had placed bets on the NFL.

Despite the suspension, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded for Ridley last fall.

“The Jaguars organization is aware of the NFL’s ruling to reinstate Calvin Ridley,” the team said in a statement on Monday. “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.”

“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,” Ridley said in a statement “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. 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.”

This is a change of tune from Ridley’s initial reaction when the suspension was announced:

Ridley is not the first NFL athlete to be punished for betting on football games. In 2019, Josh Shaw, a reserve player for the Arizona Cardinals, placed a parlay wager on the NFL in Las Vegas. Like Ridley, he was suspended for a season for his behavior.

Ridley drew more headlines than Shaw because of his status as a starter for the Atlanta Falcons. Like Shaw, he was away from the team when he placed his bets, having stepped away from the organization for a few weeks to focus on his mental health.