Authorities believe Vincent Jackson could have died days before he was found dead in a Tampa-area hotel room.
According to the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s report, the hotel staff went to Jackson’s room on Saturday and Sunday and saw him slouched over the couch but thought he was asleep.
‘They assumed he was sleeping and left the room,’ the initial case summary released to ESPN and TMZ stated.
On Monday, the 38-year-old was found in the same position. That is when the staff called 911.
Jackson was declared dead that morning.
The medical examiner said there was no trauma to his body other than a small laceration on his toe, the Daily Mail reports. Jackson’s cause of death has not been released, and a formal autopsy report may take several months.
Jackson’s family has chosen to donate his brain to Boston University’s CTE Center to see if he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy—a degenerative disease associated with blows to the head. Many retired NFL players have suffered from the disease.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told the MJ Morning Show that his family believes he suffered from concussions.
He played 155 NFL games from 2005-16 in his career.
‘Vincent being who he was, would have wanted to help as many people as possible,’ said Allison Gorrell, a spokeswoman for the Jackson family, told the New York Times. ‘It’s something his family wanted to do to get answers to some of their questions.’
Jackson had been staying at the hotel since early January. His family reported him missing on February 11. Deputies located him at the hotel on February 12. and deemed him fit to remain at the hotel.
ESPN and TMZ reported that Jackson had a history of alcohol use and smokeless tobacco use. However, he was not known to use drugs.
Chronister said he was an alcoholic during a radio interview and mentioned his “long-standing health conditions that contributed to his passing because of alcohol abuse.”
‘We got the autopsy report that will be released today showed, unfortunately, he suffered from chronic alcoholism,’ Chronister told the MJ Morning Show.
Chronister added that the family believes Jackson suffered from CTE.
‘Well, this is true speculation but what the family is telling me is that he suffered from CTE,’ Chronister said. ‘They believe he had a lot of concussion problems, and when you suffer from that, you’re not yourself.
‘[The family believes] wholeheartedly all of these actions are the result of what he suffered while he was playing in the NFL.’