Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson has been found dead on Monday in a hotel complex located in Brandon, Florida. The circumstances behind his passing are being investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The 38-year-old played for the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before his retirement which was announced in 2018.
Jackson was initially reported missing by his family on February 10. He was found still alive two days later, and officers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office were able to talk to him. According to their evaluation at that time, Jackson was not under threat. The missing persons report was cancelled, but in an unfortunate turn of events, the former professional football player was found dead by a housekeeper just days later.
"My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him," said sheriff Chad Chronister, in a statement shared by the BBC. "Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else."
The exact cause of death is still unknown, pending a post-mortem examination by the local medical examiner's office. However, it can be confirmed that upon initial inspection, there was "no sign of trauma" on Jackson's body.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had just lifted the Super Bowl trophy, expressed their grief about the news of the former player's passing. "We are shocked and saddened to hear the terrible news regarding the loss of Vincent Jackson. Vincent was a consummate professional who took a great deal of pride in his performance on and off the football field," read the statement.
He played for the Buccaneers from 2012 until his retirement in 2018. Before that, he spent seven seasons with the Chargers.
"Vincent was a dedicated father, husband, businessman and philanthropist, who made a deep impact on our community through his unyielding advocacy for military families, supported by the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation," continued the statement.
As of now, there are no reports about the suspicion of foul play, but the investigation is still ongoing.