Colts owner Jim Irsay makes first public statement after 'severe' illness


Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay made his first public comments about his health since January on Tuesday via social media. 

Irsay was being treated for a “severe respiratory illness,” the Colts announced on Jan. 9. 

“On the mend,” he posted on X. “Grateful for all the messages of love and support.”

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Jim Irsay in Indiana

Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay speaks during a ceremony honoring former player Tarik Glenn during halftime of the game between the Washington Commanders and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Colts added in the statement that he was receiving “excellent care” for his illness, while asking for privacy. 

While the Colts mentioned the respiratory illness, multiple reports also found a police report that stated Irsay was found unresponsive in his home in December due to a “suspected overdose.

First responders were called to Irsay’s home in Carmel, Indiana, around 4:30 a.m. ET on Dec. 8, TMZ Sports said, citing police documents. 

COLTS OWNER JIM IRSAY, 64, UNDERGOING TREATMENT FOR ‘SEVERE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS’

Irsay was struggling to breathe and was administered Narcan, to which he “responded slightly,” according to TMZ Sports. 

The billionaire was the subject of a “Real Sports” interview with Andrea Kremer in November, when he said he has been to rehab “at least 15 times.” He also mentioned a near-death situation that gave him an epiphany. 

Jim Irsay in 2019

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay before the start of their game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA., on Sunday, Sept., 8, 2019. (Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK)

“One time, I was trying to detox myself, and I mixed multiple drugs that I didn’t know anything about,” he explained. “So all of a sudden, I start slurring my words. And then code blue, I stop breathing. And they revive me and the doctor goes, ‘Jim, you’re one lucky man because I had virtually signed the death certificate.’”

It’s no secret Irsay has dealt with addiction struggles. In 2014, he checked himself into rehab after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence as well as four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. 

Police revealed Irsay had various prescription drugs in his possession during the arrest as well as more than $29,000 in cash when he was pulled over. 

Jim Irsay in 2021

Jim Irsay attends 15th Annual HOPE luncheon seminar honoring Michael Phelps at The Plaza on November 10, 2021 in New York City. (Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

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Irsay, who has been the Colts executive since 1984 when his father, Robert, was the team’s owner, had his license suspended for a year after refusing a blood test. He did, however, have his felony charges dismissed by prosecutors after pleading guilty to DUI. 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.



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