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Former Lions WR Charles Rogers passes away at 38

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  • By NFL.com
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Former Detroit Lions receiver Charles Rogers passed away Monday from liver failure. He was 38.

The Michigan native was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft. Rogers won the Biletnikoff Award and set several school records while at Michigan State. Rogers was also battling cancer at the time of his passing, friends of Rogers' told MLive.com.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Charles Rogers," the Lions said in a statement. "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' time in the NFL lasted just three seasons, as he battled injuries and was suspended for multiple drug violations. He appeared in only 15 games, catching 36 passes for 440 yards and four touchdowns. The 6-foot-3 wideout caught 22 passes in the first five games of his rookie campaign before breaking his clavicle. He broke his clavicle again in his first game back the following season.

"I am very saddened to hear of Charles' passing," former Lions coach and current NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci said in a statement. "Charles was our first draft choice in my time with the Lions, and having the opportunity to select a premier player from Michigan State and a local Saginaw standout athlete was tremendously exciting. In coaching Charles, his talent and ability were very evident early on in his career. I feel strongly had he not suffered unfortunate injuries, he would have gone on to become an excellent NFL wide receiver. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and I offer my deepest condolences during this difficult time."

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