Jim Irsay denies overdose led to December hospitalization, won't be in Colts' draft room

Jim Irsay has largely been out of the public eye since his hospitalization in December

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay denied that he experienced an overdose when he was taken to a hospital in December.

Instead, the 64-year-old told Fox59 on Tuesday that it the incident was due to a leg injury that needed immediate treatment.

Emergency responders were called to Irsay’s Indianapolis area home around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 after he reportedly fell in the bathroom and had been moved to a nearby bed. Irsay, police said, was “unresponsive, breathing, but turning blue.” Police called the incident a suspected overdose, and they reportedly administered a dose of naloxone (otherwise known as Narcan) to help Irsay in the moment. Irsay was then taken to a local hospital.

On Tuesday, Irsay insisted that it wasn’t an overdose that led to paramedics being called that morning. Instead, it was a leg injury that had developed a serious hematoma.

“It’s unfortunate because they really don’t have the information in that speed of time when you’re checking [someone] into the hospital and it’s an overdose or it’s this or that,’’ Irsay said, via Fox59. “It wasn’t an overdose. The bottom line was the leg needed to be taken care of immediately.

“When you have the severe pain on different parts of your body, it’s not the easiest thing to manage.’’

Irsay has been very open about his issues with drug and alcohol addiction in the past. He said last year that there was a past overdose that nearly killed him, and that he’s been to rehab at least 15 times.

“I know what the situation is. It’s not a situation like that," Irsay said firmly, via Fox59. "I’ve had 27 surgeries in the last seven or eight years. No one ever wants to talk about that. What people don’t realize is when you have real medical issues that are orthopedic, they are so easy to point to me being overdosed or addiction-related or what have you.’’

The Colts announced in early January that Irsay was being treated for a “severe respiratory illness.” He’s largely been out of the public view in recent months during his recovery, and he said he won’t be in the Colts’ draft room later this week for the NFL Draft.

Jim Irsay was hospitalized in December after police responded to what they called a suspected overdose at his home.
Jim Irsay was hospitalized in December after police responded to what they called a suspected overdose at his home. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

"The main thing is I'm just following my doctors' orders and just making sure the bottom line is just to get back to 100% and to do the things they say," Irsay told ESPN. "I'm just being a good patient and trying to make sure I can get back sooner than later. I'll get back on the golf course sooner than later.

"It's going fine. It's just a test of patience."

Irsay first started with the Colts in 1984 as an executive with the franchise. He took over as the team's majority owner in 1997 after his father, Robert, died. He was 37 at the time.