The family of former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson has donated his brain to researchers at Boston University’s CTE Center, as new details surrounding his death emerged on Thursday.
A spokesperson for Jackson’s family told The New York Times that they made the decision in order to better understand what led to his sudden death earlier this week.
“Vincent being who he was would have wanted to help as many people as possible,” Allison Gorrell told the Times on Wednesday. “It’s something his family wanted to do to get answers to some of their questions.”
San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson (21) and wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) celebrate Jackson’s first-quarter touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Jackson’s family spoke out shortly after Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister old WRBQ radio that Jackson’s autopsy report, which has yet to be released, showed signs of “chronic alcoholism” and that the family believed he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
“This is just speculation, but what the family is telling me is that he suffered from CTE,” he said. “They believe he had a lot of concussion problems. When you suffer from that, you’re not yourself, you’re not your normal self. And they believe wholeheartedly all of these actions are a result of what he suffered while he was playing in the NFL.”
Gorrell told the Times that the sheriff did not speak for the family.
Jackson, 38, was found dead in a hotel room in Brandon, Fla., on Monday. Police said he was reported missing on Feb. 10 but was tracked down to the hotel where he had been staying since he first checked in on Jan. 11.
New details surrounding Jackson’s death were released on Thursday.
According to the Initial Case Summary obtained by ESPN, Jackson was located by police on Feb. 12 as part of a welfare check. On Feb. 13 and 14, hotel staff reportedly entered his room and saw him on the couch but “assumed he was sleeping and left the room.”
They again entered his room on Monday and saw he had not moved and called 911.
There were no apparent signs of trauma or injury.
The three-time Pro Bowler was drafted in the second round by the San Diego Chargers in 2005 where he played for seven years. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 where he dealt with a number of injuries. He last played for the team in 2016 but announced his retirement just two years later.