It was less than two years ago in February 2008 when Plaxico Burress held the world in his hands – catching the winning touchdown in the NFL Super Bowl.
|Burress in action five days before the nightclub incident [GALLO/GETTY]
Now the former New York Giants wide receiver faces up to 15 years behind bars after shooting himself in the leg in a nightclub last year.
Prosecutors indicted the star on Monday on two felony counts, accusing him of criminal possession of a weapon and one misdemeanour count of reckless endangerment.
Burress, 31, was released by the team after the November 2008 incident in New York.
The accusations put his stellar career in jeopardy, costing him millions of dollars in salary.
If convicted, he faces at least three and a half years in prison and a maximum of 15 years.
Prosecutors and the defence had been in talks over a plea deal that would have resulted in a two-year sentence, but those talks broke down, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.
"The case required a more protracted investigation than does a typical weapons-possession case, given the number of witnesses and the need to investigate events both before and after the shooting," Morgenthau said in a statement.
"The case is treated like any similar case against any other defendant."
Antonio Pierce, a Giants linebacker who was with Burress at the time of the shooting, was not charged.
Pierce took the gun back to his home after the shooting, prosecutors said.