The NFL has removed Steelers outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo from the commissioner’s exempt list, at least temporarily clearing him for a return to action.
Charges against Chickillo, which stemmed from an Oct. 20 arrest after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend at Nemacolin Woodlands resort, were dropped on Wednesday, with Chickillo’s girlfriend, Canadian pole vaulter Alysna Newman, declining to continue with the prosecution.
“Me withdrawing charges does not mean I take domestic violence lightly,” Newman said on social media. “There were no payoffs, no behind the scene deals, there has been no contact between Anthony and I since the night of the incident. … I do not condone domestic violence from males or females because it is not right and I will forever stand behind that.”
Being removed from the exempt list is the first step in a return to play for Chickillo. He can now resume practicing and is once again eligible to play. But there remains the possibility of discipline from the NFL in the form of a suspension for violating the league’s person conduct policy in reference to domestic or dating violence.
“The league will continue to conduct an investigation of the incident, and we acknowledge that Anthony could still be subject to discipline by the league office under the personal conduct policy,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement.
Chickillo faces a six-game suspension under the policy, though that could be reduced with mitigating factors.
To make room for Chickillo on the Steelers’ roster, the team released fellow outside linebacker Jay Elliott.