According to the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Josh McNary “unhesitatingly” denies the rape allegations. The 2nd-year linebacker’s attorney, Edward F. Schrager, released a statement on Thursday morning:
"“Joshua McNary unhesitatingly denies all accusations made against him. Following the public release of these allegations, Joshua immediately reported to law enforcement officials in a respectful and peaceful manner.“The charges and affidavit publicly disseminated on Wednesday afternoon are not evidence of wrongdoing, but simply one side’s story.”"
Meanwhile, the Colts requested that the league place him on the Commissioner Exempt List until the allegations are further resolved. This would effectively place McNary on paid leave until the judicial process properly runs its course:
"“After reviewing the documents supporting the very serious criminal charges filed yesterday afternoon against Josh McNary, the Colts have requested Commissioner Goodell to immediately place Josh on the League’s Commissioner Exemption list,” the Colts said in a statement. “If the request is granted, Josh will not be eligible to practice or attend games with the Club while designated as Commissioner Exempt. 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 Colts sincerely hope this extraordinarily serious matter will be resolved expeditiously and that justice will prevail.”"
It’s worth noting that McNary has not played in either one of the Colts’ two playoff wins, and this is being viewed as a major off-the-field distraction ahead of the team’s AFC Championship game.
The bigger issue; however, is that a serious crime could have possibly been committed by a Colts player, which is disturbing to say the least. The Colts have issued a statement, but like the rest of us, are refraining from passing judgment until more information and updates become available.
Having appeared in 15 games for the Colts this season, McNary has registered 28 tackles. He’s mostly played as a backup linebacker, receiving most of his playing time on special teams. However, he did start in 4 games for the Colts this season due to injuries to starting inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman.
We’ll continue to update the situation, as we receive them. Be sure to check in to Horseshoe Heroes, as this troubling situation evolves.
UPDATE (12:40): The Indianapolis Colts have been granted their request by the league, and Josh McNary was placed on the Commisioner’s Exempt List today, which is essentially paid leave until the allegations are resolved. He will not count against the Colts’ 53-man active roster until removed.
Consequently, the Colts were able to promote wideout Griff Whalen from the team’s practice squad to the active roster and signed defensive lineman Gannon Conway to fill his vacant practice squad spot in corresponding roster moves.
Sep 15, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles (43) scores a touchdown as he breaks a tackle by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Josh McNary (57) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports