TAMPA, Fla. — Vincent Jackson's family says the former NFL star's brain will be donated to science and be assessed for potential brain injuries that could be linked to his time playing football.
Scientists will examine Jackson's brain to determine if he was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — the degenerative brain disease many former football players suffer after repeated blows to the head. The disease has been linked to depression, impulsive behavior and emotional instability.
Several other NFL stars who have died at a young age have been found to have been suffering from CTE.
Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau was found to be suffering from CTE after he died by suicide in 2012. Seau's self-inflicted gunshot wound was made in his chest, leaving his brain to be studied by scientists.
Jackson was found dead in a Bradenton, Florida hotel room earlier this week. A preliminary report from the Hillsborough County medical examiner's office says that workers said they found Jackson in his room "in the same position" on both Saturday and Sunday. The report says staff assumed he was sleeping and left.
Then, on Monday, when he hadn't moved, they called 911. That discovery came three days after Hillsborough County deputies went to the hotel to check on Jackson's well-being after his family filed a missing person's report.
See the report from the medical examiner's office below.
An autopsy is being done and the medical examiner's office says, detailing Jackson's cause of death could take months.
After his retirement from football, Jackson devoted himself to his Jackson in Action 83 foundation, which is intended to help military families.
This story was originally published by Brody Wooddell on WFTS in Tampa, Florida.