The Denver Broncos report for training camp in just several days, where various position battles will occur to determine the overall roster for the upcoming season. The Broncos’ defensive line group was one area to keep an eye on, but they’ll be without second-year player Eyioma Uwazurike indefinitely.

On Monday, the NFL announced that Uwazurike would be suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s policy on gambling.

“The NFL confirmed today that Eyioma Uwazurike of the Denver Broncos has been suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games in the 2022 season. Uwazurike will be eligible to petition for reinstatement no earlier than July 24, 2024.”

The Broncos drafted Uwazurike in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but he saw limited action until the end of the regular season. The suspension comes from Uwazurike being identified as having placed bets on NFL games during last season.

Under current rules, NFL players cannot gamble or bet on any football-related events. Players can bet on other sports like the NBA, MLB, PGA, UFC etc, but league personnel are prohibited from doing so.

Players cannot place any bets at a team facility, including the practice facility, team hotel, or other team-designated venues.

The Denver Broncos released an official statement shortly after the NFL announced the news.

“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.”

Uwazurike’s suspension impacts the team’s depth at defensive line. With veteran defensive lineman Mike Purcell set to start training camp on the NFI (non-football injury) list, the depth of that unit becomes thinner.

Zach Allen, Matt Henningsen, Jordan Jackson, Jonathan Harris, Elijah Garcia, Haggai Ndubuisi, Tyler Lancaster, and PJ Mustipher make up the remaining depth on the defensive line.

He becomes the ninth player this offseason to be suspended for violating the league’s policy on gambling. During OTAs, new Broncos head coach Sean Payton discussed the importance of the league, and he and his staff provided players with all of the necessary knowledge of the gambling policy.

“We got a packet from the league,” Payton said in response to the NFL’s crackdown on gambling. “Obviously, when policies change, it’s our job to educate [the players]. [Vice President of Football Operations & Compliance] Mark Thewes was awesome. We’re professional teachers. The packet we received, we looked at, studied [it] closely and then we presented it in our own PowerPoint. I probably had 20 minutes on it to really make sure everyone has it. If you’re a teacher and half your class get a D, you better look at yourself. It’s not the policy, but it’s the implementation, the understanding, and the educating of the policy. 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.”

Several players on other teams who were suspended for gambling were released for the violation. It’s unclear at this point whether or not the Denver Broncos will decide something similar regarding Uwazurike.