Vincent Jackson’s brain to be donated for CTE research

Published: February 19, 2021 12:41 PM EST
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) comes to the line against the Tennessee Titans during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. The Titans defeated the Bucs 42-14. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

The brain of former NFL receiver Vincent Jackson is going to be donated for CTE research, a spokesperson for his family confirmed to CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV. Evidence of CTE has been found in the brains of numerous athletes in sports that feature hard contact among their participants.

The spokesperson, Allison Gorrell, told multiple news outlets Jackson’s brain will be sent to Boston University to determine whether he suffered from the degenerative brain disease.

Many questions surrounding Jackson’s death still remain unanswered. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office has said it could take months before an autopsy is completed.

A report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office revealed that, for two straight days, staff of the Brandon, Florida hotel where Jackson’s body was found Monday had seen the former Bucs player “slouched over” on a couch in his room. It wasn’t until the third day that workers called authorities, who determined he’d been dead.

According to the same report, a small cut was found on Jackson’s big toe, but no other visible signs of injury were found.

The report also says Jackson had a history of alcohol use and used smokeless tobacco. But it doesn’t draw any conclusions about his cause of death. Jackson didn’t have a known history of drug use, the summary added.

According to Boston University, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, know as CTE, is a degenerative brain disease commonly found in “athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma.”

Jackson spent 12 seasons in the NFL with the then-San Diego Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jackson was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009, 2011 and 2012. He last played in 2016 and announced his retirement from the NFL in 2018.