C.J. Moore thankful for second chance with the Lions after gambling suspension

It seemed likely when his gambling suspension was over, and C.J. Moore is thankful for his second chance with the Lions.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

About a month after they signed him to two-year contract extension in March of 2023, as a reflection of how much he was valued as a core special teamer, C.J. Moore was one of multiple Detroit Lions' players suspended for a violation of the NFL's gambling policy. The indefinite suspension he got means he had bet on NFL games, which seems like a common sense no-no as an NFL player, no matter how the league failed to initially educate about the policy.

An "indefinite" suspension became one year this spring, and the idea the Lions could bring Moore back for a second chance was easy given their perceived lack of depth at safety. It was indeed done earlier this month, and Moore was of course at OTAs this week.

Speaking to reporters after Thursday's practice, Moore did not get into the specifics regarding his gambling suspension, other than to say he did not bet on Lions' games. But he fully owns the mistake, and is thankful the Lions gave him another shot.

A year without football may have been good for C.J. Moore

Even with the league making it clear they hadn't done quite enough to make it clear what violated the gambling policy after he was suspended, Moore made no excuses for what he did (via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News).

"I just failed to hold myself accountable," Moore said. "I shouldn't have been gambling in the first place or anything like that. I failed in that area. … I knew the rules. Just, like I said, being immature, just gambling, losing control of being aware of exactly what I was doing. Just careless mistake."

During his suspension, Moore got married, welcomed his second child and stayed in shape in case he got another chance to play football. Based on what he said Thursday, the Lions reached out pretty quickly after he was reinstated.

"We weren't allowed to speak (while I was suspended). Once the door opened, my agent just told me that they had reached out. I mean, that was just blessings. I can't even explain it. I'm just so, so thankful for them."

Moore said his gambling days are done, he avoids the topic altogether and he would advise teammates to not gamble at all and learn the hard lesson he did. But what's done is done, and the Lions gave him a second chance to be a contributor to their success.


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