TAMPA (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has not yet concluded its investigation into the death of Vincent Jackson, but statements made by Jackson’s family reveal he may have suffered from chronic alcoholism and concussions.
The 38-year-old former Buccaneers wide receiver was found dead in a Homewood Suites hotel room Monday morning in Brandon. He had been staying there since Jan. 11.
“Sheriff Chronister does not speak on behalf of the Jackson family,” a Jackson family spokesperson told ESPN. “The full autopsy report will not be available for weeks. Our focus right now is on laying Vincent to rest.”
There were no signs of trauma on Jackson’s body, so the sheriff’s office is awaiting the medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.
“It could be several weeks before we know what led to the untimely and tragic death of Vincent Jackson,” a spokeswoman Crystal Clark said Wednesday. “Based on statements made by relatives of Jackson to detectives, his family had reason to believe he may have suffered from chronic alcoholism and concussions.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that Jackson suffered brain injuries from his time in the National Football League. The wide receiver played 11 years in the league at a position that takes frequent hits to the body.
Research has shown that NFL players with a history of head injuries or concussions are at risk for permanent brain damage, often associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. CTE can only be diagnosed, however, by an autopsy review of the brain after death.
Jackson was a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, twice with the Chargers (2009, 2011) and once with the Bucs (2012).
Jackson is fourth on the Buccaneers’ all-time receiving yards list at 4,326 and his 68.7 receiving yards per game are third in franchise history.