A closer look at the life and death of Vincent Jackson


Photo courtesy of Getty Images by Drew Hallowell. Vincent Jackson #83 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dives into the end zone for a touchdown past Nate Allen #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 9, 2012 in Tampa, Fla.

Vincent Jackson, former NFL wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, tragically passed away Feb. 15, 2021.

Jackson played 155 games, had a total of 57 receiving touchdowns, 540 receptions and 9,080 receiving yards. He’s played for the San Diego Chargers from 2005-2012 and ended his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012-2016.

What we Know

Jackson was found dead in his hotel room Feb. 15. According to a preliminary medical examiner’s report, he may have been dead in his room for three days before he was found. Jackson’s family had reported him missing Feb. 10. according to News Channel 8, “The last time deputies confirmed Jackson was alive Feb. 11 was when they were called to check on him. But the sheriff’s office said deputies canceled the missing person report after checking on Jackson at the hotel on Feb. 12.”

Cause of Death: Still Ongoing

According to ESPN, the Feb. 18 report found no medications found on the scene. Under Jackson’s social history, it listed “alcohol use, smokeless tobacco use and no known drug use.” The report listed his death’s cause and manner as “pending further study,” meaning it is not immediately known what he died from.

However, there has been suspicion that he may have suffered from a chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is common with football players.


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, CTE is a progressive and fatal brain disease associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions and repeated blows to the head. It is also associated with the development of dementia.

Football players are commonly affected by this disease. Being the most popular contact sport, most hits are directed towards the head or with the head. A few symptoms can be memory loss, thinking problems, confusion, personality changes and erratic behavior, including aggression, depression and even suicidal thoughts.

There is no cure or treatment for CTE, and the only way a diagnosis can be made is, unfortunately, through death.

Boston University’s CTE Center

Jackson’s family donated his brain to Boston University’s CTE Center so they can study it for any signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. They are unsure at this point just how many concussions Jackson has endured throughout his NFL career, from 2005-2016.

According to the Daily Mail, “Vincent being who he was would have wanted to help as many people as possible, said Allison Gorrell, a spokeswoman for the Jackson family. He told the New York Times. “It’s something his family wanted to do. To get answers to some of their questions.”

About Vincent Jackson

After putting up his helmet in 2016 and retiring from the NFL in 2018, Jackson spent his time helping his community. In honor of his father, Jackson helped military families through the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation. “The mission of the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation is to provide support to military families, focusing on the emotion and physical health of the children.”

Jackson had said, “Our job is to provide support and tools to help military parents continue to raise their children and maintain close bonds, even when separated by thousands of miles.”

Many testimonies have proven that this program has helped many children who have struggled with being part of a military family.

Not only was he about giving back, but his wife, Lindsey Jackson, wrote a series of children’s books about what it’s like growing up in military families.

Jackson will also be remembered for the way he smoothly went into real estate development. “Business and philanthropy were what interested Jackson, and he began to lay the foundation for his second act while still active in the NFL, making strategic investments in restaurants and real estate,” as reported in the Business Observer.

Jackson would say how he never wanted to be a coach or anything in that field. Once he retired, he wanted a job out in the civilian world. He found his success in the world of real estate.

Vincent Jackson is a man that many will remember. He was a football star, a businessman and a real activist for the community. He helped others during his lifetime and made an impact in this world. His fans, friends and family will miss him dearly.