Indianapolis Colts suspend and remove lockers of duo for ‘conduct detrimental to the team’

In a move that is rare in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts suspended two players – receiver-punt returner Isaiah McKenzie and cornerback Tony Brown – for the final three regular-season games for “conduct detrimental to the team”.

This punishment is generally handled by the NFL head office and not the individual teams. Suspensions are usually tied to violations of the league’s personal conduct policy or for breaching player-safety rules. The Colts did not provide specifics about what occurred as they made the announcement.

In a further indication of the severity of the transgression, not only were the players suspended but according to the Indianapolis Star, the lockers of Brown and McKenzie were removed from the Colts’ locker room.

Brown had played in 12 of Indianapolis’ 13 games this season until being a game-day inactive for Saturday’s 30-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s been on the field for 56 defensive snaps and 252 special-teams plays.

Colts coach Shane Steichen declined to elaborate on what the conduct was that got the two players suspended:

“I know you guys are going to have questions about specifics,” Steichen said to open his press conference, “but it’s a matter that we’re handling internally and I got nothing to add on that, and we’re getting ready for Atlanta.”

When asked about the difficulty of making the decision to suspend the players, Steichen said: “There’re standards around here, and we got to hold people accountable. That’s it.”

Both players made their greatest impact this season on special teams, and both were inactive for Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh. McKenzie played in all 13 games before Saturday and had been the team’s primary kick and punt returner.

The Colts visit the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. With an 8-6 record, Indianapolis is tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans for the lead in the AFC South. Via tiebreakers, the Colts occupy the final wild-card spot in the current AFC playoff standings.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!