Gone too soon. Football fans have had to mourn many surprising deaths in 2022 including NFL athletes such as Jaylon Ferguson and Jeff Gladney.
In June 2022, the Baltimore Ravens confirmed that Ferguson passed away at the age of 26. “We are profoundly saddened by the passing of Jayson Ferguson,” a statement from the team read. “He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.”
The outside linebacker’s agent also reflected on her client’s sudden passing, telling NBC News, “He was a wonderful young man full of love and life. He will be remembered not just as a football player, but as a great father, son, brother and friend. The family asks for your continued prayers.”
The Louisiana native, who was drafted in 2019, was reportedly found unresponsive and pronounced dead with no signs of trauma or foul play. According to ESPN, authorities responded to a call in northern Baltimore and no official cause of death has been announced yet.
Ahead of his shocking death, Ferguson celebrated Father’s Day with his son and two daughters. He shared his kids with Doni Smith. “How am I going to tell my babies,” Smith tweeted in response to the news. “Until eternity. Get your rest my love!!!”
Ferguson previously gushed about getting to expand his family. “My best friend my boy my first born my only son the one who will be the future sack daddy turned 3 years old on this date and we gone party!!!!!” he wrote via Instagram honor of his son’s special day in November 2020. “Happy birthday Jyce O’Neal Ferguson Mama and daddy love you so much and we are greatful for u.”
Gladney’s passing also shocked sports supporters when he died in a car crash at the age of 25. “We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and all who are mourning this tremendous loss,” the Arizona Cardinals tweeted in May 2022.
The Texas native, who was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2020, was a victim of a fatal accident in Dallas. His cousin Sharonda Francois reflected on his passing, telling WFAA, “He was very loved by us all. He was an all-around good kid and his contagious smile is what he was known for. He hosted football camps, he took care of our kids at family gatherings. I mean, money did not change him, he was still the same down to Earth cousin. He was just so well-loved.”
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