Life should have been far better for Charles Rogers, a former All-America receiver at Michigan State and No. 2 overall pick by the Detroit Lions. On Sunday, a life chock full of disappointments came to a sad end.
He died at age 38 of liver failure, according to MLive. He also battled cancer.
“I called his mom at the hospital over the weekend and got a chance to talk to Charles,” said his former Saginaw High football coach Don Durrett. “He said he was going to the Lord.”
The Lions issued a statement:
"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.”
Rogers showed big potential -- catching 22 passes for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns during his first 5 games of the '03 season. But, he suffered a broken clavicle, which ended his rookie campaign, TMZ reports. The following season, he broke his clavicle again -- on just the 3rd play of the 2004 season.
In 2006, the Lions cut him, ending his NFL career.
Rogers struggled with substance abuse -- including an addiction to Vicodin, and was arrested multiple times for alcohol-related issues, TMZ reports.
He was working at Uptown Motors, an auto repair shop in the Fort Myers, Fla. area.
He is survived by eight children.