The Disturbing Charges Against Philadelphia Eagles' Josh Sills Fully Explained

Celebrations in Philadelphia after the Eagles stamped their ticket to Super Bowl LVII were hampered considerably when a serious criminal indictment was handed down against Josh Sills, one of the team's backup offensive linemen. The indictment includes two first-degree felonies that stem from an alleged 2019 encounter in Guernsey County, Ohio, where Sills is from. The player was a rookie with the Super Bowl-bound Eagles squad, who signed to the team in 2022 as an undrafted free agent, based on CBS News reporting.

In response to the Sills indictment, the Eagles guard, who played football at West Virginia and then one year at Oklahoma State before entering the NFL, was placed on the Commissioner Exempt List, meaning he could no longer travel, play, or practice with the team. The shocking news comes only a matter of weeks before the Eagles are set to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Super Bowl in Arizona. The NFL released a statement in response to the indictment, which read simply: "The matter will be reviewed under the NFL's personal conduct policy." 

Sills was indicted on one count of rape

The indictment against Sills refers to a December 5, 2019 incident and includes one count of rape, as reported by TMZ. According to court documents, Sills stands accused of unwanted sexual contact with the plaintiff. The indictment came following an investigation by the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office, per People. Once it was announced, the Eagles released their own statement which read, "The organization is aware of the legal matter involving Josh Sills." 

The team's statement also explained that team management is "in the process of gathering more information" on the details of the indictment, suggesting further comment will be forthcoming. They also confirmed that the team is in close contact with the league over the matter. Sills (pictured above wearing an Oklahoma State uniform) had only appeared in one Eagles game in the 2022-23 NFL season thus far, against the Arizona Cardinals (via NBC Sports). 

The indictment also includes one count of kidnapping

Also included in the Josh Sills indictment is one count of kidnapping (via People). It claims the athlete forcibly removed the plaintiff "from the place where she was found or restrain[ed] the liberty of her" as a means to perpetrate the alleged sexual assault, according to court documents. Per the NFL personal conduct policy, even if Sills is not convicted of the two criminal charges, he could still be disciplined.

At the beginning of the current NFL season, quarterback Deshaun Watson, recently traded to the Cleveland Browns, was handed an 11- game suspension over a number of civil lawsuits that accused him of sexual harassment and assault during his time playing for the Houston Texans, as CNN reported at the time. All but one of those suits against Watson were settled out of court. 

Sills, meanwhile, is scheduled to appear in court in Cambridge, Ohio on February 16, just four days after the Super Bowl is slated to take place in Glendale, Arizona. As of this writing, Sills had yet to enter a plea in the case.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).