Denver Broncos defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike, already suspended by the NFL for gambling, is facing criminal charges after he bet on games in which he played in the NFL and at Iowa State University, the Des Moines Register reported.
The 25-year-old faces a charge of tampering with records. He allegedly disguised his identity by creating the appearance the wagers conducted by him were being made by someone else.
The Des Moines Register received documents from the Story County attorney that allege Uwazurike made approximately 801 mobile online sports wagers totaling more than $21,000. Five of the wagers were on Broncos games during the 2022 season, including two in which he played, and four were on Iowa State football games, including two in which he played.
“The account placed approximately 32 wagers on NFL Denver Bronco events and individual NFL Bronco players,” read the document.
The games include a road game at the Seattle Seahawks and home games against the Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals. The dates range from Sept. 12 to Dec. 18, 2022, with the game against the Cardinals in Week 15 the one in which he played in.
On July 24, the NFL suspended Uwazurike indefinitely for violating the league’s policy on gambling. He can petition for reinstatement no earlier than one year from that date.
The NFL has suspended 10 players this year for violations of its gambling policy, seven indefinitely and three for six games, including 2022 first-round draft pick Jameson Williams of the Detroit Lions.
Uwazurike was selected by the Broncos in the 2022 NFL Draft with a fourth-round pick (No. 116) that was acquired as part of the trade that included quarterback Russell Wilson. Uwazurike played in eight games during the 2022 season, including six of the last seven, and made 17 combined tackles. He could have pushed for more playing time this season under new head coach Sean Payton.
It has been a tumultuous training camp for the Broncos so far as they attempt to get back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season, when they won the Super Bowl.
Payton has received harsh blowback after criticizing former head coach Nathaniel Hackett, and the team lost wide receiver Tim Patrick for the season with an Achilles injury. Wide receiver K.J. Hamler is away from camp with a heart issue.