A day after learning that second-year linebacker Josh McNary had been charged with rape, criminal confinement, and battery resulting in bodily injury, the Colts placed McNary on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list on Thursday.
He’s the first player to be placed on paid leave under the strengthened personal conduct policy, which was revised by the league in December in the wake of Ray Rice’s domestic violence incident and Adrian Peterson’s child abuse case last fall.
Under the new conduct policy, a player “may be put on paid leave if formally charged with a violent crime or sexual assault, or if the NFL investigation finds sufficient credible evidence that it appears a violation of the policy has occurred. Paid leave will last until the completion of the NFL investigation or disposition of a criminal charge.”
McNary cannot participate in practice or games, including the AFC Championship game this weekend, as long as he’s on the exempt list.
“As far as Josh McNary is concerned, I know everybody’s aware of the circumstances,” said Colts coach Chuck Pagano. “We placed Josh on the commissioner’s exempt list and this will give him time to take care of things he needs to take care of.
“I’m not going to go into any details regarding the circumstances. Our focus right now is on one thing and one thing only and that’s trying to get a win against New England.”
In a statement, the Colts said placing McNary on the exempt list will allow the legal process to play itself out.
“That designation will permit the investigation provided by the League’s Personal Conduct Policy to run its course and will afford Josh the opportunity to focus on his defense against the charges,” the team said in its statement. “The Colts sincerely hope this extraordinarily serious matter will be resolved expeditiously and that justice will prevail.”