Detroit Lions release guard Rodney Austin after charges of assaulting woman, child under 12


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ALLEN PARK, Michigan — The Detroit Lions released guard Rodney Austin on Tuesday, four days after police in Charlotte, North Carolina, charged him with assault on a female and assault on a child under 12.

According to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff Department's website, the 6-foot-4, 330-pound Austin was also charged with interfering in an emergency communication and misdemeanor larceny.

An undrafted rookie free agent out of Elon in 2012, Austin joined the Lions as a member of the practice squad. He appeared in two games during his three seasons in Detroit, including the team's NFC wild-card game against Dallas last season.

The 26-year-old Austin played high school football in Charlotte.

Bond was set at $2,000.

The Lions did not mention the charges against Austin in the press release Tuesday.

Austin is the second NFL player to be charged with domestic violence in Charlotte in the past two years.

Former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, now a member of the Dallas Cowboys, was convicted last year of assault on a female and communicating threats and missed 15 games in 2014 after being played on the commissioner's exempt list. Hardy appealed the ruling and the charges were dropped when the accuser couldn't be located to testify.

The NFL is still investigating the matter and Hardy faces a possible six-game suspension.


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