The Indianapolis Colts have placed linebacker Josh McNary on the commissioner's exempt list on Thursday, a day after he was charged with rape.
US prosecutors charged the 26-year-old McNary, of Houston, Texas, with one count of rape, one count of criminal confinement and one count of battery resulting in bodily injury, court documents show.
The commissioner's exempt list is the same status Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was given in September while dealing with legal issues in connection with child abuse charges.
McNary, who plays on special teams, was charged after a 29-year-old woman was allegedly held against her will in a downtown apartment last month.
The league recently stepped up its policy for addressing assault and domestic violence following criticism of the way it handled allegations of crimes against women.
McNary appeared in 15 games for the Colts this season, recording 28 tackles.
Indianapolis plays the New England Patriots in the American Football Conference championship game on Sunday with the winner advancing to the Super Bowl.