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(Reuters) - The Denver Broncos sent home a practice squad player after he was questioned by police in a prostitution sting ahead of this Sunday's Super Bowl in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ryan Murphy, 23, was detained and questioned at a hotel in San Jose on Tuesday but was released when it was found he was not involved in any criminal activity, said Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Jensen.
As a member of the Broncos' practice squad, the former Oregon State University defensive back would not be eligible to take the field when the team plays the Carolina Panthers in the NFL championship game in Santa Clara.
"Although practice squad safety Ryan Murphy was not cited by police, we decided it was best for the team if we continued our preparations for Super Bowl 50 without him," Denver head coach Gary Kubiak said in a statement.
"Ryan is returning to Denver, but his status as a practice squad player has not changed at this time."
Police and groups which fight human trafficking often express concern about prostitution as tens of thousands of fans flock to cities hosting the Super Bowl. But there is little evidence the sporting event leads to increased sex trafficking and prostitution.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Richard Chang