Henry Ruggs‘ life was turned upside down on Tuesday, November 2, when he was in a car crash that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old woman.
According to police, the Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver “showed signs of impairment” at the crash scene and was eventually charged with a DUI that resulted in death. Ruggs and his 22-year-old girlfriend, who was in the Corvette he was driving, were taken to University Medical Center Trauma with “serious” injuries but the wide receiver was eventually booked into Clark County Detention Center, according to police.
Ruggs remained in custody at the jail on $150,000 bail after making his first court appearance on November 3, according to Clark County records viewed by Heavy.
Tashan Reed of The Athletic pointed out that Ruggs could face penalties that include two to 20 years in prison, fines ranging from $2,000-$5,000 and a three-year driver’s license suspension if convicted of the class B felony under Nevada state law.
[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”tea7rdit3x” question=”Are you surprised the Raiders released Henry Ruggs?” opened=”0″]Many eyes have been on the Raiders to see how they would handle this situation. Instead of waiting for the legal process to play out, the team decided to move on from the 2020 first-round pick. The Raiders announced late on Tuesday that the team released Ruggs.[/wpdiscuz-feedback]
This news doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as the NFL would’ve likely suspended the wide receiver and could still put him on the commissioner’s exempt list, keeping him out indefinitely. As talented as Ruggs is, there was almost no way the team could move forward with him considering the situation.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Is Ruggs’ Career Over?
By many accounts, there were no red flags surrounding Ruggs when he was coming into the NFL. Nick Saban, who coached Ruggs at Alabama, said that he was a player with “great character.” Even the most pessimistic team couldn’t have foreseen Ruggs being involved in something like this.
[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”8arjn1m8fm” question=”Will Ruggs play in the NFL ever again?” opened=”0″]The legal process will have to play out, but the wide receiver’s career could be over before it really started. Donte Stallworth is a player who has been brought up in comparison to Ruggs’ situation.[/wpdiscuz-feedback]
In 2009, the former Cleveland Browns wide receiver served 30 days in jail out of a possible 15 years after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter in the death of 59-year-old a pedestrian named Mario Reyes, as CBS Sports reported on the fifth anniversary of that crash. He was suspended for the entire 2009 season but was able to return the following season. He played in eight games for the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 and bounced around the NFL until 2013, including playing in 2011 for what is now the Washington Football Team and in 2012 for the New England Patriots.
Ruggs could get a shot in the league again down the road but he’s going to have to deal with the legal ramifications of the crash first.
Can the Raiders Overcome More Adversity?
Unfortunately for the Raiders team, they must continue to play football. The team was just getting over the resignation of head coach Jon Gruden and now have to cope with the Ruggs situation. He was becoming an integral part of the offense and now he’s not coming back.
There’s also a human element to all of this. Ruggs was close with many players in the locker room and now he’s no longer there.
The Raiders have shown incredible mettle by winning two games after Gruden resigned. However, this Ruggs situation is much more serious and could be more taxing on the players. Nobody would fault the players for coming out flat on Sunday against the New York Giants as this will be the team’s greatest test yet.