FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The 2021 season seemed to hold much promise for fifth-year Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley, but it ended in tumult. His 2022 campaign is over before it started, the result of a yearlong suspension handed down Monday by the NFL for gambling on its games.
Here is a timeline of events for the former first-round pick over the past 10 months:
May 3, 2021: The team picked up his fifth-year option, guaranteeing Ridley $11.1 million for the 2022 season.
June 9, 2021: The Falcons traded away wideout Julio Jones, making Ridley the team’s top receiver and, it seemed, all but guaranteed he would get a long-term extension.
June 15, 2021: Ridley spoke to the media about his offseason foot surgery that kept him from on-field work during OTAs and minicamp.
July 29, 2021: Ridley declared the foot healthy in training camp but did not participate in any preseason games.
Aug. 4, 2021: A good day at practice with his daughter.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 4, 2021
Sept. 12, 2021: Ridley opened the season with five catches for 51 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sept. 19, 2021: Ridley hauled in seven passes for 63 yards and his first touchdown of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Oct. 7, 2021: With the team getting ready to travel to London for a game against the New York Jets, Ridley declined to go because of what he deemed a personal issue.
Oct. 18, 2021: Ridley returned to the team after the Falcons’ bye week. During that week, he spoke with the media and said he felt his issue was short term and that it was past him.
Oct. 24, 2021: Ridley had four receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown at the Miami Dolphins. It turned out to be his last game of the season.
Oct. 31, 2021: During the fourth quarter of Atlanta’s home loss to the Carolina Panthers, Ridley announced he was stepping away from the team indefinitely to work on his mental health. The Falcons supported Ridley throughout the second half of the season, often declining to comment other than saying they were supporting him.
Nov. 5, 2021: The Falcons put Ridley on the non-football injury list.
Later in November: Ridley’s betting spree covers five days in the month and includes parlays in which he included the Falcons to win.
Feb. 9: The Falcons were informed the NFL was investigating Ridley for potentially gambling on games.
March 7: The NFL announced a suspension of at least a year in duration for Ridley for betting on NFL games.