Longtime NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead at a Tampa Bay-area hotel on Monday. He left behind a wife and four children.
The 38-year-old’s sudden passing rocked the sports world to its core, prompting many to openly wonder what led up to it.
Although a clear answer regarding what caused Jackson’s death has yet to emerge, certain pieces are slowly coming into focus.
They are already deeply sad.
As noted by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced one of the key findings of the autopsy report on Wednesday.
“Chronister said that, based on the autopsy, Jackson suffered from ‘chronic alcoholism,’” wrote Florio. “Chronister, who added that Jackson had ‘a lot of longstanding health conditions,’ said that the toxicology report has not yet been completed.”
Jackson had apparently been staying at a hotel since January 11, though the precise reason why remains unknown.
“Chronister said the family believes that Jackson’s circumstances were the result of CTE arising from his years of playing football,” Florio added.
Jackson last played in the NFL in 2016 as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent the final five years of his career with the team, and ranked fourth in franchise history with 4,326 receiving yards and 10th with 268 receptions.
Prior to landing in Tampa Bay, Jackson played his first seven seasons as a member of then-San Diego Chargers. The franchise selected him with the 61st overall pick of the 2005 draft. He is tied for eighth in Chargers history when it comes to touchdown receptions with 37 and is 10th in receiving yardage with 4,754 yards.
Jackson’s death is just the latest blow for NFL fans after what has been a trying few months.
Jeanie Buss shoots her shot with the GOAT.https://t.co/Nmu4oJAf7w
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 17, 2021
Several weeks back Andy Reid’s allegedly drove impaired before leaving a five-year-old with life-threatening injuries.
Prior to that, an offensive lineman beat his girlfriend so badly that she will never look the same again.
Before that, Earl Thomas found himself involved in an ugly situation that started with a botched threesome with his brother and ended with his wife fearing for her life.
Klay knows how to do Valentine’s Day right. https://t.co/Gxt1gRLTX2
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 15, 2021
And even before these violent instances, there was the sad case of Josh Gordon and his continued fall from grace.
Football is generally used as a means of escape. But when it’s just one tragedy after another, continuously, escapism increasingly becomes unviable.
Additional details on the specifics of what led to Jackson’s untimely passing should continue to trickle out in the coming days and weeks.