Reggie Rogers’ NFL career was cut short by off-the-field problems, and now it appears those same struggles may have cut short his life as well.
Rogers, 49, was found dead Thursday in Seattle, according to local reports. The cause of death was reported as possibly a drug overdose or a heart attack caused by one. Police have yet to confirm the identity.
Rogers was an All-American defensive lineman while at Washington from 1984 to ’86 and drafted seventh by Detroit in the first round in 1987. However, he broke his neck in a 1988 drunk-driving crash that killed three teens and served 16 months in prison. He returned to the NFL in 1991 with Buffalo but finished his career having played just 15 games in four seasons.
Rogers battled substance-abuse problems his whole adult life, with six drunken-driving convictions. He was arrested earlier this month after allegedly hitting his wife in the head with a flashlight during an argument while he was drinking.
Rogers’ brother Don, an All-American safety at UCLA and the Defensive Rookie of the Year with Cleveland in 1984, died of a heart attack caused by an overdose at age 23, a day before his wedding.
His coach at Washington, Don James, died this week after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Rogers’ daughter Regina was an All-American basketball player at Washington in 2012.