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NFL reinstates Isaiah Rodgers

| By Jill R. Dorson
Two days before the draft and five days after reinstating five other players, on Tuesday (23 April) the NFL announced that it had reinstated Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Isaiah Rodgers Sr. On 29 June 2023 Rodgers was suspended for a year for violating the league's betting policy.
philadelphia eagles rodgers reinstated

Rodgers has contended all along that while he did wager, it was on behalf of friends. Rodgers was playing for the Indianapolis Colts at the time of his suspension. Sports betting is legal in Indiana, but was not in Florida at that time, where he said the friends were located. Rodgers made more than 100 bets, including some on the Colts. Among those was a winning $1,000 prop bet on teammate Jonathan Taylor.

Rodgers was one of 10 NFL players suspended for wagering in 2023. The NFL reinstated five of those players last week.

Timing of NFL reinstatement crucial

The timing of the NFL reinstatement is critical as it allows the Eagles to go into the draft knowing that Rodgers will be available. The team has reportedly been in talks with cornerbacks as it has two veterans at that position, not including Rodgers.

The Eagles have the 22nd pick in the draft, which starts on Thursday in Detroit.

According to the NFL, Rodgers can participate in all team activities.

“We did work on him coming out of the draft, saw his pro tape. He is a talented guy and obviously he made a mistake, and he has apologised for that mistake,” PhiladephiaEagles.com wrote that team GM/executive vice-president Howie Roseman said last August.

“We believe in second chances and now it’s on him.”

12 US pro athletes banned for betting

Since the US Supreme Court made sports betting a states’ rights issue in 2018, 12 athletes from the four major professional US sports leagues have been suspended for illegal wagering or violating a league betting policy. The most recent was NBA player Jontay Porter.

The Toronto Raptors bench player was banned after a league investigation revealed he had bet on the NBA and had shared confidential information with bettors.

In 2023 the NHL in suspended Shane Pinto for 41 games for violating league policy. The NHL did not disclose what the violations were but said that Pinto did not bet on NHL games.

Rodgers took responsibility

Rodgers was immediately released by the Colts after the NFL suspended him. The Eagles signed him late last summer. Rodgers has publicly acknowledged that he knew the rules and has taken responsibility for breaking them.

“That report is true, with it being $1,000, but that report wasn’t made from my device,” Rodgers told ESPN. “The $25 to $50 bets are exactly true, but it was more crazy-leg parlays with just $25 trying to make a crazy amount. Just funny bets. Nothing too serious. It was never, ‘This bet here is going to change my life.'”

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