Vincent Jackson’s death may have been earlier than believed

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A preliminary death report says ex-NFLer Vincent Jackson likely died on or before Feb. 13, two days before law enforcement discovered his body in a Florida hotel.

Staff at the Homewood Suites in Brandon, Fla., said they saw the former San Diego Chargers receiver in the same slouched position — assuming he was sleeping — when they entered his room on Feb. 13 and 14, according to a report by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department.

The following day, staff members went back into Jackson’s room and “were concerned when they found [him] in the same position,” according to the police report. Law enforcement arrived and confirmed Jackson’s death.

The 38-year-old played 12 seasons in the NFL, spending his first seven in San Diego before finishing his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2016. While his cause of death is not yet known — the medical examiner’s office told ESPN it could “take up to several months for a formal autopsy report” — there has been plenty of speculation.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office noted there is reason to believe Jackson suffered from “chronic alcoholism and concussions.”

vincent jackson's death may have occurred earlier than previously thought
Vincent Jackson at Pro Bowl practice in 2012.
AP Photo

“We haven’t got the toxicology report back, so we can’t say with any certainty that that was it, but a lot of long-standing health conditions that contributed to his passing because of some alcohol abuse,” sheriff Chad Chronister said on the “MJ Morning Show” on Tampa radio station Q105 Wednesday. “[The family believes] wholeheartedly that all of these actions are a result of what he suffered from while he played in the NFL.”

Jackson’s family had filed a missing persons report on Feb. 10, though officers canceled the report after checking on him at the hotel on Feb. 12. The New York Times reported the three-time Pro Bowler’s brain is to be donated for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) study.

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