NFL investigating Colts, former Tampa-area player for gambling: ESPN

Indianapolis said it is aware the NFL has opened an investigation into one of its players. ESPN reports that the player is Isaiah Rodgers, a former Blake High standout.
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers (34) covers Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) during a 2020 game in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers (34) covers Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) during a 2020 game in Indianapolis. [ ZACH BOLINGER | AP ]
Published June 6|Updated June 6

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts said Monday they are aware the NFL has opened a gambling investigation into one of the team’s players but would not discuss any additional details.

The confirmation came shortly after reports of a possible infraction of the league’s gambling policies first surfaced.

The player under investigation has not been publicly disclosed, but ESPN reported Monday that it is cornerback and kick returner Isaiah Rodgers, according to “multiple sources familiar with the investigation.” Rodgers previously played at the University of Massachusetts and Blake High School in Tampa.

The sportsbook account was opened under the name of an associate of Rodgers, according to ESPN. About 100 bets were placed on an account over an undisclosed amount of time, including on Colts games. Most of the bets were in the $25-$50 range, although there was at least one low four-figure bet, according to the story.

Rodgers, a sixth-round pick in 2020, is entering the final year of a four-year, $3.4 million contract. He played in 15 games last season, starting nine, and is believed to have a chance to start this season after the Colts traded another starter, Stephon Gilmore, to Dallas during the offseason.

Rodgers responded to the reports late Monday night on Twitter.

“I know I have made mistakes and I am willing to do whatever it takes to repair the situation,” he wrote. “The last thing I ever wanted to do was to be a distraction to the Colts organization, my coaches, and my teammates. I’ve let people down that I care about. I made an error in judgment and I am going to work hard to make sure that those mistakes are rectified through this process. It’s an honor to play in the NFL and I have never taken that lightly. I am very sorry for all of this.”

The NFL suspended five players in April, four from the Detroit Lions, for gambling infractions. The Lions released three of those players — receivers Quintez Cephus and Stanley Berryhill and safety C.J. Moore. Cephus and Moore were suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games while Berryhill and receiver Jameson Williams each drew six-game suspensions for gambling on non-NFL games. Williams, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2022 draft, remains on Detroit’s roster.

Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney also was given an indefinite suspension in April for betting on NFL games and in 2022, the NFL suspended Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley for the entire season for the same infraction. Ridley was reinstated in March and is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It’s not the first time the Colts have been involved in a gambling allegation.

In 1983, former quarterback Art Schlichter, the No. 4 selection in the 1982 NFL draft, was suspended indefinitely after he agreed to testify against bookies he owed money to. Then-commissioner Pete Rozelle reduced the punishment to 13 months and he was reinstated for the 1984 season.

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter

We’ll send you news and analysis on the Bucs, Lightning, Rays and Florida’s college football teams every day.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

But the Colts released Schlichter early in 1985 after rumors surfaced that he had continued gambling. Schlichter was the first NFL player to be suspended for gambling since Alex Karras and Paul Hornung in 1963.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

• • •

Sign up for the Sports Today newsletter to get daily updates on the Bucs, Rays, Lightning and college football across Florida.

Never miss out on the latest with your favorite Tampa Bay sports teams. Follow our coverage on Twitter and Facebook.