Colts place McNary on exempt list

Indianapolis, IN ( - The Indianapolis Colts have placed linebacker Josh McNary on the commissioner's exempt list, a day after he was charged with rape and other offenses.

The Colts are set to play New England this Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.

According to court documents posted online by Wednesday, prosecutors in Marion County (Indiana) charged McNary with rape and criminal confinement, both felonies, and battery resulting in bodily injury, a misdemeanor.

The commissioner's exempt list is the same status Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was given in September while dealing with his legal issues stemming from charges of child abuse.

McNary joined the Colts as a free agent in April 2013. He has recorded 54 tackles in 20 NFL games, starting four this season.

The Colts promoted wide receiver Griff Whalen from the practice squad to the active roster. Whalen has appeared in 19 regular-season games, including three starts, for the Colts. He has 26 receptions for 282 yards with two touchdowns and has also averaged 8.6 yards on 34 punt returns with 25.1 yards on 16 kickoff returns.

Indianapolis also signed defensive end Gannon Conway to the practice squad.