Charles Rogers, Former Detroit Lions and Michigan State Wide Receiver, Dies at 38
By CBS News
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Charles Rogers, a former Detroit Lions receiver and Michigan State University star, has died. He was 38. His former high school coach, Don Durrett, told the Detroit Press that Rogers died overnight.
Details surrounding his death weren't immediately made public.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Charles Rogers. From Saginaw to East Lansing, to Detroit, Charles' connection to the state of Michigan and its football community was felt by many during the course of his life," the Lions said in a statement Monday. "We extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his friends and family during this difficult time."
His former college teammate, Chris Baker, mourned Rogers on Twitter. "Devastated to learn of the passing of my spartan brother Charles Rogers. Spoke with his mom this morning. Please pray for her and his children," he tweeted. "Please also be respectful of their privacy at this difficult time. Rip Chuck ?"
Rogers grew up in Saginaw and was one of the most highly-sought after football recruits in the country. He went on to play college ball with the Michigan State Spartans in 2001 and 2002, becoming an All-American and breaking the school's career touchdown record with 27.
He was selected second overall by the Lions in the 2003 NFL Draft but two broken collarbones in his first two seasons cut his professional career short. In his rookie season, Rogers recorded 22 catches for 243 yards and three touchdowns before suffering a broken clavicle in practice.
Failed drug tests plagued his career, leaving him suspended when he was healthy. In the past, he told the East Lansing Journal he got hooked on Vicodin after his second collarbone injury.
"(The Lions) were giving them out like candy," Rogers told the publication. "Whatever you want. (They) weren't even questioning as long as you are on the field. They were passing them out like Skittles. I was straight hooked on them things for three or four years."
This story was originally published by CBS News on Nov. 11, 2019 at 1:41 p.m. ET.