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NFL Star Josh Sills Will Return to Philadelphia Eagles’ Active Roster After Rape Trial Acquittal

NFL Star Josh Sills Will Return to Philadelphia Eagles Active Roster After Rape Trial Acquittal
Philadelphia Eagles guard Josh Sills (61) blocks New York Jets defensive lineman Bradlee Anae (50) during the NFL pre-season game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2022.Chris Szagola/CSM/Shutterstock

NFL star Josh Sills was cleared of his rape and kidnapping charges on Friday, August 4, and is set to return to the Philadelphia Eagles.

“We are aware that the legal matter involving Josh Sills has been adjudicated and he was found not guilty,” a team statement read via Twitter on Friday. “The organization has monitored the situation. The NFL has removed him from the commissioner’s exempt list and he will return to the team’s active roster.”

Sills, 25, was acquitted hours earlier during the conclusion of his trial in Guernsey County, Ohio, according to CBS News. The offensive lineman had been accused of assaulting a woman and holding her against her will in 2019.

“I still believe the victim,” Dave Yost, the attorney general of Ohio, said in a statement. “But in America, criminal convictions require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury did not see it, and I thank them for doing their duty under the law.”

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Sills — who was signed to the Eagles in 2022 as a free agent — was indicted on one count of rape and one count of kidnapping in Ohio weeks before Super Bowl LVII.

According to a statement made by Yost in January, Sills allegedly “engaged in sexual activity that was not consensual and held a victim against her will” in December 2019. The alleged incident was immediately reported and the local sheriff conducted an investigation. Sills did not respond to Us Weekly’s request for comment at the time.

Sills, who played in one game during his rookie season, was subsequently placed on the “Commissioner Exempt List” and could not train or play with the Eagles.

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“Sills may not participate in practices and games or travel with the team while on the Commissioner Exempt List,” the NFL said in a February statement. “The matter will be reviewed under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.”

The Eagles traveled to Glendale, Arizona, in February for the Super Bowl, which they ultimately lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Eagles began their training camp for the 2023-2024 season earlier this month, with the likes of Jalen Hurts and Jason Kelce returning to the team. According to sports reporter Josh Tolentino, Sills is expected to return to practice “within the next couple of days.”

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Tolentino, who covers the Eagles for the Philly Inquirer, confirmed via Twitter on Friday that Sills’ attorney Michael Connick announced the athlete’s upcoming travel plans after the trial verdict was rendered.

“He’ll be able to build his football career and grow as a person and be successful in all of the things that he chooses to do. It’s unfortunate he was accused of this,” Connick said in a statement, per Tolentino. “It cost him a Super Bowl appearance. … He will move on and live his life in a very honorable fashion.”

If you have experienced sexual assault, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for confidential support.