10:13am: The NFL has allowed the Colts to place McNary on the exempt list, the club announced today in a press release. Indianapolis promoted wide receiver Griff Whalen from its practice squad to take McNary’s place on the 53-man roster. Defensive end Gannon Conway replaces Whalen on the taxi squad.
10:08am: With linebacker and special-teamer Josh McNary facing criminal charges, the Colts have asked the NFL to place him on the commissioner’s exempt list, as Mike Wells of ESPN.com details. If the league agrees to accommodate Indianapolis’ request, McNary will be ineligible to practice or play for the Colts as they prepare for this weekend’s AFC Championship game.
McNary, 26, has been charged with rape, criminal confinement with bodily injury, and battery resulting in bodily injury. While the Colts linebacker is “unhesitatingly” denying the allegations, a precedent was set earlier this season when Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy were placed on the exempt list while their legal cases were resolved. The league’s new conduct policy calls for the possibility of paid leave if a player is formally charged with a violent crime or sexual assault. That paid leave “may last until the league makes a disciplinary decision and any appeal of the discipline is fully resolved.”
Playing in his second season with the Colts in 2014, McNary logged 272 defensive snaps to go along with his work on special teams, recording 29 tackles and 0.5 sacks. If the league allows the Colts to place him on the exempt list, he’ll be removed from the 53-man roster, allowing the team to sign or promote someone to replace him.