Eyioma Uwazurike, a defensive end from the Denver Broncos, became the 10th NFL player to earn a suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy.
Denver Broncos defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike harasses linemen on the Buffalo Bills. (Image: AP)
On Monday, the league banned Uwazurike indefinitely for betting on NFL games during his rookie season in 2022. He must wait one full year before he can petition the league for reinstatement.
We were informed by the NFL today that Eyioma Uwazurike has been suspended by the league indefinitely for violating its gambling policy,” the Broncos said in an official statement. “Our organization fully cooperated with this investigation and takes matters pertaining to the integrity of the game very seriously.”
Sports betting is legal in Colorado, but the NFL has a zero-tolerance policy if players bet on any NFL games.
In April, the NFL flagged five players, four from the Indianapolis Colts and one from the Washington Commanders, for gambling violations. In June, three more players were suspended indefinitely for gambling on NFL games, including Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, and Demetrius Taylor.
Also in June, Nicholas Petit-Frere from the Tennessee Titans earned a six-game suspension for placing non-NFL wagers in a team facility.
Broncos Lose a Potential Starter in Uwazurike
The Broncos selected Uwazurike with a fourth-round pick out of Iowa State in the 2022 NFL Draft. He appeared in eight games last season, recording 11 solo tackles and 17 total tackles.
The Broncos expected Uwazurike to compete for a starting job this season. Matt Henningsen, a sixth-round pick from last year’s draft, is expected to fill in for Uwazurike.
New head coach Sean Payton said the league took steps to clarify its gambling policy so there are no issues this upcoming season.
It’s not the policy, but it’s the implementation, the understanding, and the educating of the policy,” said Payton. “I presented a week and a half ago, and now someone officially will present it. Hopefully it won’t be from that eight-page handout we received because that was more confusing after I read it than it was before I looked at it. I think we’re all on the same page.”
Players aren’t permitted to gamble on any NFL games. They can place wagers on non-NFL games if they’re in a legal state and jurisdiction. However, they cannot place bets while inside team facilities like the locker room or team hotel rooms.
Betting the Broncos in 2023
The Broncos were a popular pick to win the Super Bowl last season after they pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks.
Wilson struggled in his first season with Denver. He nursed multiple injuries in the 2022 season and never got on the same page as first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
The Broncos fired Hackett after the team gave up in an embarrassing 51-14 loss on Christmas. Hackett led the Broncos to a 4-11 record before his dismissal. The Broncos finished 5-12 last season, and Hackett joined the Jets as their new offensive coordinator.
In late January, the Broncos hired Payton to replace Hackett as head coach. In their first season under Payton, the Broncos have a projected win total of 8.5 over/under, according to a prop bet from DraftKings.
The AFC West is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are the betting favorite to win the AFC West at -165 odds. They’re ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers (+340), Denver Broncos (+550), and Las Vegas Raiders (+1200).
The Broncos are +4000 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII. They last won a championship during the 2015 season when they won Super Bowl 50.
The Broncos are +2500 odds to win the AFC Championship and return to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2015 season.
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