Denver Broncos Defensive Lineman Eyioma Uwazurike Suspended for Betting on NFL Games

Denver Broncos defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike was suspended for violating the NFL's gambling policy. Here's how it impacts the Broncos.

The NFL announced that Denver Broncos defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike has been suspended for violating the league’s gambling policy. The suspension for betting on NFL games is indefinite.

Eyioma Uwazurike’s Suspension Is Indefinite

The league indicated that Uwaziruke is ineligible to apply for reinstatement before July 24, 2024. The league did not indicate whether or not Uwazurike gambled on Broncos games and only provided the information that he bet on NFL games during the 2022 season.

If he had indeed bet on Broncos games, that could impact his ability to win his appeal for reinstatement next year.

The Denver Broncos Have Made a Commitment To Educating Players on the Policy

The Broncos released a statement, saying, “We were informed by the NFL today that Eyioma Uwazurike has been suspended by the league indefinitely for violating its gambling policy. Our organization fully cooperated with this investigation and takes matters pertaining to the integrity of the game very seriously.

“The Denver Broncos will continue to provide all members of our organization with the necessary education, resources and support to ensure compliance with the NFL’s Gambling Policy.”

The Broncos’ statement highlights the fact that teams need to be proactive about educating players about the nature of the gambling policy, something that they have failed to adequately do.

That seems to align with the thinking of head coach Sean Payton, who joined the team after Uwazurike’s policy violations.

“We got a packet from the league,” Payton told reporters in June. “Obviously, when policies change, it’s our job to educate [the players]. [Vice President of football operations & compliance] Mark Thewes was awesome.”

Payton indicated that they had reworked the instructional packet, which he called “confusing,” in order to present it to players in a digestible way.

“If you’re a teacher and half your class gets a D, you better look at yourself,” Payton said. “It’s not the policy, but it’s the implementation, the understanding, and the educating of the policy.”

Eyioma Uwazurike’s Suspension Makes a Thin Defensive Line Group Even Thinner

Uwazurike played 165 defensive snaps last year for the Broncos, primarily in the second half of the season. He also played 32 special teams snaps.

Uwazurike, a fourth-round pick in 2022, took on a larger role by the end of the season, and the Broncos didn’t add many defensive linemen, aside from swapping in Zach Allen after losing Dre’Mont Jones in free agency.

Once a strength of the team, the unit has lost a lot of its luster and needs more high-quality players for both starting roles and depth positions. Without Uwazurike, that will be even more difficult.

With defensive lineman Mike Purcell on the NFI list, this opens up opportunities for fellow 2022 Day 3 pick Matt Henningsen. It also creates room for undrafted free agent rookie PJ Mustipher as well as free agents and waiver additions like Jonathan Harris, Tyler Lancaster, and Elijah Garcia.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles