Calvin Ridley is ‘a great resource’ for Jaguars teammates after play suspended

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley uses his game suspension to help his Jacksonville Jaguars teammates.

Ridley, 28, is at the mandatory minicamp preparing to return to the field for the first time since being suspended for betting on NFL games (including games involving his own team). He missed all 17 games in 2022 due to suspension and hasn’t appeared on the pitch since Week 6 in 2021.

It’s not something Ridley is proud of, but he wants to use that experience to help others. Head coach Doug Pederson said Monday that Ridley is ready to be a “resource” to any of his teammates who might be tempted to play.

Gambling is ubiquitous in the NFL now, which means players are constantly being reminded of something they’re not allowed to do. Having Ridley – the first player to be suspended for a major online gambling infraction – on the team is essentially the best way to deter other players from playing. He doesn’t need to be in the spotlight (which Pederson wanted to avoid), but he’s there to help whenever someone needs a reminder of what they have to lose if they decide to. break the rules.

JACKSONVILLE, FL – MAY 30: Calvin Ridley #0 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on during an off-season practice on May 30, 2023 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley is preparing to return to the field after spending the entire 2022 season suspended for illegal betting on NFL games. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Pederson spoke more about Ridley, praising him for giving it his all as he returned to football.

“One of the things that I really find, and the respect that I have for Calvin, is just the communication that he had with us, and us with him. I want to that point, to be open and honest with all players, especially a veteran player of his caliber,” Pederson said via ProFootballTalk. “He’s thrilled to be here, he wanted to be here, he’s not going anywhere. He now lives in Jacksonville, Florida, so it’s good to see him here too.”

How much does Ridley want to be in Jacksonville? Pederson excused just about every veteran from the mandatory minicamp, but Ridley is still there, adjusting to the younger ones.

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