Tragedy has struck the NFL football family once again this week.
Longtime former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead in a hotel room in Brandon, Florida just before noon on Monday, February 15. The former pro athlete, who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers during his career, was just 38 years old at the time of his death.
Jackson, who was a South Tampa resident, had checked into the hotel on January 11. He had been staying in that room for the month since that date, according to a report published by ESPN.
Jackson’s family initially reported him missing on Wednesday of last week, with a formal report logged on Thursday. Police located Jackson at the hotel in Brandon the very next day, on Friday, February 12, and the missing persons case was officially canceled after law enforcement officers determined he was not in danger at the time.
Obviously, things changed over the weekend, but it’s unclear exactly what happened that led to Jackson’s death.
Hillsborough County (Florida) Sheriff Chad Chronister released a statement about Jackson’s death in the hours after the announcement first hit air waves on Monday morning. The sheriff said (below):
“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him. Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else. Football aside, he touched countless lives through his Jackson In Action 83 Foundation. We shared a passion for supporting military families, and three years ago, Jackson was even made an honorary deputy by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to recognize his dedication to the community. He will be sorely missed by not only football fans across the country, but also the people here in Hillsborough County who reaped the benefits of his generous contributions.”
Buccaneers owner Bryan Glazer released a statement via Twitter mourning Jackson’s sudden and unexpected loss, as you can see (below):
Rest in peace, Vincent Jackson. ???? pic.twitter.com/ik3GYZjQDr
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 15, 2021
And his first pro team, the Chargers, also released a statement mourning the talented wide receiver’s departure from this world:
gone too soon ???? pic.twitter.com/lQEtPjNQ4w
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) February 15, 2021
And only 38 years old? Ugh. So tragic…
Originally a standout college football player at the University of Northern Colorado, Jackson was selected by the Chargers in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL, logging 540 receptions for more than 9,000 receiving yards and 57 touchdowns.
We send our love and condolences out to Jackson’s family, friends, former teammates, and others who are today mourning his untimely passing.
[Image via ABC Action News/YouTube]