Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson’s cause of death was ruled to be chronic alcohol use and deemed “natural” by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner on Wednesday, according to ESPN.
In February, Jackson was found dead in his Brandon, Fla., hotel room at the age of 38 after he was reported missing five days earlier by his family. He was also diagnosed with stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) by researchers at Boston University’s CTE Center, which the medical examiner also confirmed.
The autopsy revealed the former Buccaneers and Chargers receiver suffered from alcoholic cardiomyopathy, hepatic steatosis and fibrosis, esophageal varices, ascites, jaundice, remote pancreatitis, renal failure and hyponatremia dehydration, cardiovascular disease and intoxication by ethyl alcohol, according to ESPN. All of that is consistent with chronic alcohol use. The report also said Jackson’s blood-alcohol content was 0.28 percent. Jackson, during his time with the Chargers, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in 2006 and 2009.
The three-time Pro Bowler’s brain was donated by his family, in the hopes of helping CTE research.
“Vincent dedicated so much of his life to helping others,” his widow, Lindsey Jackson, said in a statement last week. “Even in his passing, I know he would want to continue that same legacy.
“There is still a lot to be understood about CTE, and education is the key to prevention. The conversation around this topic needs to be more prevalent, and our family hopes that others will feel comfortable and supported when talking about CTE moving forward.”
Vincent Jackson played 12 NFL seasons, amassing 540 catches for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns.
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