RIP Charles Rogers — Former Detroit Lions Player Dead At 38

He battled liver disease and cancer.

How Did Charles Rogers Die? New Details On The Death Of Former Detroit Lions Player At 38 Getty

Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers died Monday, November 11, 2019 from liver failure at the age of 38. He reportedly battled liver disease and cancer

The Detroit Lions shared the following statement on Twitter on Monday: “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. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his friends and family during this difficult time.”


Marshall Thomas, Rogers’ former football coach at Saginaw High School said: "He had cancer, whether that was related to his liver I don't know. [...] They had given him 30 days to live if he didn't get a liver transplant." In 1999, Rogers' senior season, he helped Saginaw High win the football state championships.

Rogers struggled with drug and alcohol addiction after sustaining several injuries while playing for the Detroit Lions, leading to his departure from the team. Whether this factor contributed to his death or not is unknown.TMZ shared

While the details around how Charles Rogers died are unclear, there is no denying that he was a talented football player who was loved by his family, friends and teammates. Here are some details about his life and career as well as the injuries and addictions that may have contribted to his health decline.


1. He was kicked off the Detroit Lions team in 2005.

Rogers shared that he smoked marijuana every day during his NFL career and in 2005 received a four-game NFL suspension for failing multiple drug tests. The Lions cut him after the season, saying he broke his contract by doing drugs and not staying in shape, and demanded he return more than $10 million of the $14.4 million bonus he received.

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2. He struggled with drug and alcohol addiction.

According to Bio Wikis, Rogers tested positive for Vicodin in his drug test along with Marijuana. Rogers admitted that he became addicted to pain killers after sustaining multiple injuries — including two broken collarbones during his time with the Lions. He also stated that other teammates turned him onto drugs. Rogers was arrested for alcohol several times. TMZ shared in 2009 that he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating his probation. During his probation, court records showed that he tested positive for alcohol and falsified records showing he attended AA classes.

3. He worked at an auto repair shop after his football career ended.

Rogers worked as the general manager for the auto repair shop Uptown Motors in Fort Myers, Florida. Rogers admitted he wasn't too knowledgeable about cars but used his likeability to act more as a "PR guy" and also described his managing position as his first "real job." During this time, he claimed to have maintained sobriety from other drugs, but still smoked marijuana every day.


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4. He had 8 kids.

Rogers had a total of eight children — four sons and four daughters — from four different women, but remained unmarried and single. He fathered two of his children while he was in high school.

5. He broke many records.

Rogers holds many records — one for Michigan State where he made 27 touchdown catches and had a school-record 270 receiving yards in a 2001 game against Fresno State, numbers that persuaded the nearby Lions to use the second pick of the 2003 NFL draft him.


6. Twitter remembrances are pouring in.

Many have taken to Twitter to share their remembrances and kind words about the former Lions player under the hashtag #CharlesRogers:

"Wow, just heard Charles Rogers, former #Lions #2 overall pick, died at age 38. As a kid I remember watching his iconic Madden commercial, it stuck with me ever since."- ESPN Analyst Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho)

"Heartbroken, sad, hurt this morning to wake up and hear my brother Charles Rogers has passed on. Praying for his family! Rest up my brother. We Love You! Rest in Paradise Chuck."- Superbowl Champion Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress)

"Still one of the greatest TD catches I’ve ever seen in person. Charles Rogers dead at 38. Gone far too soon. Tough day for the Spartan family. #RIP." – ABC7NY Lead Sports Anchor Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC)

"Man, this is crazy. Possibly the best to ever do it from Saginaw High, Charles Rogers has passed away. He was just 38. I could go on for days about the plays I saw this guy make on the field. In hoops and track too. Ridiculous athleticism." – ABC12’s Ryan Slocum (@Sloc12)

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Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. She covers news, entertainment, relationships and everything in between.