INDIANAPOLIS – Specifics were in short supply as Shane Steichen and a handful of Indianapolis Colts reacted to the news cornerback Isaiah Rodgers Sr. is under investigation for violating the NFL’s gambling policy.
In fact, Rodgers wasn’t present as the Colts went through their latest organized team activity practice session Wednesday afternoon.
Steichen offered no insight on Rodgers’ absence.
“It’s an on-going investigation,’’ he said.
That was a recurring theme.
Has Steichen talked with Rodgers since reports surfaced Monday evening his projected starting cornerback is in the NFL’s crosshairs?
“Again, I’m going to keep those things internal,’’ he said.
Has Steichen, general manager Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay discussed how they’ll deal with Rodgers once the league’s investigation has run its course? An indefinite suspension is likely if it’s determined he not only bet on NFL games, but Colts games, as has been reported.
“Like I said, I’m going to keep all those things internal,’’ Steichen said.
There’s no lack of educational opportunities for players regarding the NFL’s stance on gambling. Players are strictly prohibited from betting in any form while at the team complex. Betting on NFL games is never allowed.
Teams make that clear every year, and a poster stressing the gambling policy decorates locker rooms. The league sends a representative to each team every year, and one has been at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this week. The visit was set up in advance and not in reaction to the Rodgers’ situation.
“Cool dude,’’ noted linebacker E.J. Speed.
The message was clear.
“What I got from those sessions was: ‘Don’t gamble,’’’ Speed said. “That’s all I got. They made it apparent . . . what you’re allowed to do and what you shouldn’t. It’s a hard topic to speak on right now because how sensitive it is around the league.
“Right now, I would just encourage anybody: Just don’t gamble. It’s not worth it.’’
Rodgers, 25, is in the final year of his rookie contract and due to earn $2.7 million this season. It’s not guaranteed and disappears if the Colts release him.
Running back Zack Moss is in his fourth season in the NFL and second with the Colts after being acquired in the November trade that sent Nyheim Hines to Buffalo.
The message has been clear regardless his workplace.
“We have annual meetings,’’ Moss said. “Obviously if (the NFL says) ‘Don’t do something,’ then you don’t do it.’’
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for 2022 after betting on NFL games. He was traded to Jacksonville and has been reinstated.
More recently, five players have been disciplined this offseason for gambling. Four were Detroit Lions, including 2022 first-round pick Jameson Williams.
“They’ve been making examples of people,’’ tight end Kylen Granson said.
Steichen made it clear players understand the gambling policy, and possible consequences.
“It’s an ongoing process educating our players, educating our coaches on the situation,’’ he said. “Beyond that, I will have probably no further comment going forward.’’
Amid the Rodgers’ issue, the Colts go about their business.
“Anytime something like this comes up, you’ve got to push it aside and move on,’’ Steichen said. “But the players have been good so far in the building.’’
Rodgers addressed the league investigation Monday on his Twitter account. He took full responsibility for his mistakes and added he’s “willing to do whatever it takes to repair the situation. . . . I made an error in judgment and I am going to work hard to make sure that those mistakes are rectified through this process.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.