Updated (9:43 a.m. ET): The Indianapolis Colts have issued a brief follow-up public statement on Jim Irsay’s health status, citing his and the Irsay family’s request for privacy at this time, without specifically addressing the TMZ Sports report:
Colts statement on owner Jim Irsay:— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) January 17, 2024
Mr. Irsay continues to recover from his respiratory illness. We will have no further comment on his personal health, and we continue to ask that Jim and his family's privacy be respected.
Indianapolis Colts team owner Jim Irsay was found “unresponsive, cold to the touch, and gasping for air during a suspected overdose, per police in Indiana” in early December of this past year, according to a TMZ report released on Wednesday.
“Carmel Police Department documents, obtained by TMZ Sports, show cops were dispatched to Irsay’s Carmel residence on Dec. 8 at around 4:30 AM ... after someone said they had found the Indianapolis Colts owner unconscious on a bathroom floor with a blue skin tone.”
“When police first arrived on the scene, they say Irsay had been moved to his bed ... where he was struggling to breathe and had a weak pulse and constricted pupils.
“Police say in the docs an attempt to wake him with a sternum rub was unsuccessful. They added, though, that after administering one dosage of Narcan — a drug commonly used to revive people in opiate overdose situations — ‘he responded slightly.’”
“Cops say they were prepared to attach an AED to Irsay — but paramedics arrived and ‘took over lifesaving efforts.’ Irsay was eventually transported to a nearby hospital via an ambulance.”
On January 9th of this year, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Irsay was being treated for a severe respiratory illness. The family asked for privacy at that time, but there was no mention of an overdose or other factors:
Colts’ statement on team owner Jim Irsay: “Jim Irsay is currently being treated for a severe respiratory illness. While this unfortunately means he won't be able to perform with his band this week in Los Angeles, he is receiving excellent care and looks forward to returning to…— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2024
Irsay, 64, has been transparent about his previous addictions with drugs and alcohol, and stated on HBO’s Real Sports in November 2023 that a past drug overdose stopped his breathing and almost killed him. He also said that he’s been to rehab “15 times.”
One of those times was in 2014 after a DUI incident that included four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, Yahoo reported. The NFL went on to fine Irsay $500,000 and suspend him for six games for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. “I acknowledge the mistake I made last March and stand responsible for the consequences of that mistake, for which I sincerely apologize to our community and to Colts fans everywhere,” Irsay said in a statement at the time.
While the Colts team owner seemingly has his own personal demons, he is beloved in Indianapolis for his eccentric, philanthropic, and charitable efforts (including his weekly Twitter team trivia with giveaways). No NFL owner is arguably more passionate than Irsay, and among league owners, his engagement with Colts fans is truly second to none.