Wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers had a history of off-field trouble, which explains why the Indianapolis Colts didn’t waste any time releasing him Monday, just hours after his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence at IUPUI.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano would not elaborate on the situation other than to say the release was for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
Rogers was once a talented college player before his dismissal from the University of Tennessee for marijuana use. As a result, he went undrafted.
The Colts signed him to their practice squad after he was among Buffalo’s final cuts before the 2013 season. He eventually played in five games, the most noteworthy at Cincinnati, where he caught six passes for 107 yards and 2 TDs.
That same game, wide receiver LaVon Brazill also had two TD catches in the first multi-score performance of his pro career. The Colts cut Brazill in July, eight days after his indefinite suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Prior to his release, Brazill spoke openly about failing league drug tests for marijuana use.
Rogers was thought to be on the bubble this preseason, and many expected him to be cut after the preseason finale, when he celebrated a late touchdown catch in a blowout loss by punting the ball out of the end zone at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Colts kept him as a sixth wide receiver, but he didn’t play this season. He was inactive for all four games.
Some time after leaving Lucas Oil Stadium after the Colts’ 41-17 win over Tennessee, Rogers was arrested early Monday morning. Fox-59 reported rookie cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy was a passenger in the car.
Rogers’ history obviously meant a zero tolerance policy for any transgressions. But the Colts will undoubtedly be questioned about the decision, considering owner Jim Irsay is serving a six-month suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after he operated a vehicle while under the influence in March.
Irsay, who admitted guilt as part of a Sept. 2 plea bargain, will return to the team after the Colts play at Houston on Oct. 9.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.