Running back LeSean McCoy is eligible to play in the Buffalo Bills’ season-opening game Sunday at Baltimore and is not being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list at this point, the NFL said Monday. Police in Georgia continue to investigate a July home invasion at a house owned by McCoy, during which his former girlfriend allegedly was injured.
“There’s been no change to his status,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said by phone Monday.
Police in the Atlanta suburb of Milton, Ga., have been investigating an alleged home invasion in July at a house owned by McCoy. His former girlfriend, Delicia Cordon, had lived with him there, and her attorney has alleged that a man broke into the home with no signs of forced entry, asked her for jewelry that McCoy had given to her and subsequently demanded back, and struck her face multiple times with a gun.
Cordon has filed a lawsuit claiming that McCoy and a former University of Pittsburgh teammate are liable for her injuries. The lawsuit does not directly allege that McCoy or the former teammate, Tamarcus Jerod Porter, ordered or participated in the home invasion. It says the men are liable because McCoy told Porter to make changes to the home’s security system without giving Cordon access to it.
No criminal charges have been filed against either man. McCoy, in a statement released previously on social media, has denied involvement in the alleged incident.
Under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Commissioner Roger Goodell is empowered to place McCoy on paid leave via the exempt list.
The policy says that a player can be placed on paid administrative leave if he is formally charged with a violent crime. The policy defines that as having used physical force or a weapon to injure or threaten another person, having committed a sexual assault, having engaged in animal abuse or having “engaged in other conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety or well-being of another person.”
The policy also enables Goodell to use the exempt list if he believes after an investigation that a player may have violated the policy in any of those ways.
The NFL still could place McCoy on the exempt list if developments in the police investigation warrant such a move, in the league’s view. McCoy has been eligible throughout training camp and the preseason. But the league’s use of the exempt list generally is intended for the regular season. A team usually is informed by Tuesday if a player is going to be suspended for a game on Sunday of that week.
The NFL’s use of the commissioner’s exempt list to keep players off the field while facing criminal charges became prominent in 2014. Running back Adrian Peterson, then with the Minnesota Vikings, and defensive end Greg Hardy, then with the Carolina Panthers, spent most of that season on paid leave while facing charges in domestic violence cases.
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