Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley missed most of the 2021 season and he’s set to miss the entire 2022 season.
The NFL announced that Ridley has been suspended indefinitely for betting on games during the 2021 season. The suspension will run through the end of the 2022 season at least.
The league stated that Ridley bet on NFL games in the 2021 season, during a five-day stretch in late Nov. 2021, when he was away from the team on the reserve non-football illness list.
The NFL determined that Ridley placed multi-legged parlay bets involving three,five and eight games that included the Falcons to win.
Rodger Goodell wrote in a letter notifying Ridley of his suspension: "There is nothing more fundamental to the NFL's success - and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league - than upholding the integrity of the game. This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game official, and anyone else employed in the league. Your actions put the integrity of the game at risk, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football, and potentially undermined the reputations of your fellow players throughout the NFL.
"For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction. In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions."
Ridley may apply for reinstatement to the league starting on Feb. 15, 2023. He also has a right to appeal the suspension. Ridley played just five games for the Falcons in 2021. He stepped away from the team on Oct. 31, saying in a statement that he was doing so to work on his mental wellbeing. He did not return and was placed on the NFI list on Nov. 5.
The Falcons said they are preparing for 2022 season as if Ridley will not be with them.
"We were first made aware of the league's investigation on Feb. 9. We have cooperated fully with the investigation since receiving notice and support the league's findings and actions," the team said in a statement. "We are moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made. With the decision that was made by the NFL, any further questions on the investigation should be directed to the league office."