Charles Rogers, a former wide receiver for the Detroit Lions and the Michigan State Spartans, passed away from liver failure at the age of 38, according to his high school coach.
Rogers was a triple-threat athlete at Saginaw High School in Michigan, where he excelled in football, basketball and track.
“I’ll tell you, he was — and I’m including Flint too, since I coached at Flint Northern all those years — he’s the best athlete I ever seen. I mean, honestly,” Rogers’ high school coach Don Durrett told the Detroit Free Press.
Rogers played for Michigan State from 2000 to 2002, where he was an All-American. He was then drafted by the Lions one year later, but unfortunately his NFL career was never successful, mainly from having drug issues, which he admitted to.
Former Saginaw High basketball coach and athletics director Marshall Thomas also spoke about Rogers’ passing and said that he suffered from another serious ailment besides his liver condition.
“He had cancer,” Thomas revealed. “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.”
Durrett said he actually got a chance to speak with Rogers before he passed.
“I called his mom at the hospital over the weekend and got a chance to talk to Charles,” he explained. “He said he was going to the Lord.”
Michigan State released a statement on Monday about Rogers’ death and sent well-wishes to his family and those close to him.
“We are deeply saddened to learn the news of Charles Rogers passing away,” it read. “We send our condolences to his family, friends and former teammates during this difficult time.”
The Lions issued a statement as well.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Charles Rogers,” it read. “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.”
During his years at Michigan State, Rogers had a total of 2,821 yards on 135 catches and 27 touchdowns.
But he broke his collarbone twice in his first two seasons in the NFL, and as a result took painkillers, which reportedly led to his addiction problems.
Roger leaves behind eight children, four boys and four girls.