C.J. Moore on Gambling Suspension: Just Careless Mistake

Moore owns mistake, eager to help Lions in 2024.
Oct 30, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Lions safety C.J. Moore (38) runs against Miami Dolphins in a fourth down trick play during the first half at Ford Field.
Oct 30, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions safety C.J. Moore (38) runs against Miami Dolphins in a fourth down trick play during the first half at Ford Field. / Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports
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For C.J. Moore, a year away from football and the Detroit Lions was a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, Moore got married and welcomed a son, Kobe, to the world. In growing his family, the defender gained perspective. However, the year away was a disciplinary action from the NFL after he violated the league's gambling rules.

As a result, Moore was forced to confront the issue and hope that he would get a second chance once his suspension was lifted. Initially an indefinite ban, the league reinstated him in April. Once reinstated, he agreed to a contract allowing him to return to Detroit, where he had spent his entire career.

"I knew the rules. Just being immature, just gambling," Moore said. "Losing control of being aware of exactly what I was doing. Just careless mistake."

The veteran defensive back said none of his bets were placed on games involving the Lions but didn't elaborate further on the extent of what he did to garner the suspension. He was one of multiple Lions to serve a suspension, as he and Quintez Cephus both had indefinite bans.

Jameson Williams, meanwhile, initially was handed a six-game suspension that was reduced to four.

"I shouldn't have been gambling in the first place or anything like that," Moore stated. "I failed in that area."

Because of the suspension, Moore was released and forced to watch the Lions play out one of the most successful seasons in team history. An undrafted addition who had been with the team since 2019, it was a bittersweet experience.

"It was kind of bittersweet," Moore said. "I've been with this team where we didn't win a lot of games, so being in that building and watching those guys win felt great. Feeling like I should've been there, that was the tough part. But I was super excited for the team, super excited for these guys making plays. So I would say a little bittersweet, but a lot more sweet."

The Lions' organization ultimately offered him a second chance, one he gladly took. Moore called the contract a blessing and expressed thanks to the team's leadership for bringing him back.

He will offer depth in the secondary along with strong special teams contributions, as he was a vital part of the unit and often served as a personal protector on punt coverage teams.

In fact, he's also toted the ball on occasions in Detroit's fake punt sets. Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp explained his positive feelings toward Moore's return on Thursday.

"I’m obviously excited to have him back," Fipp said. "Hated to see him go, but it’s great to have him back. He’s an energetic player, he’s always got a positive attitude, an optimistic person. And he is a very sudden player, too, so that helps. Yeah, we’re definitely excited."

Christian Booher


Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.