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Family says late WR Vincent Jackson had CTE

Sportsnaut
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) catches a pass in a joint practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars during NFL football training camp at Florida Blue Field in Jacksonville, Fla., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. [Gary Lloyd McCullough/For the Florida Times-Union]Nfl Jaguars Training Camp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) catches a pass in a joint practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars during NFL football training camp at Florida Blue Field in Jacksonville, Fla., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. [Gary Lloyd McCullough/For the Florida Times-Union]Nfl Jaguars Training Camp

Vincent Jackson’s family says the late NFL receiver has been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

CTE is a degenerative brain disease linked to repetitive head trauma and concussions in football players and other athletes.

Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who posted six 1,000-yard seasons and played 155 NFL games, was found dead in a Brandon, Fla., hotel room on Feb. 15. He was 38.

According to a press release issued Thursday by Jackson’s family, researchers discovered he had stage 2 CTE. The signs and symptoms can include aggression, impulsivity, depression, paranoia, anxiety and substance abuse.

“That his brain showed stage 2 CTE should no longer surprise us; these results have become commonplace,” said Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist who examined Jackson’s brain. “What is surprising is that so many football players have died with CTE and so little is being done to make football, at all levels, safer by limiting the number of repetitive subconcussive hits.”

Jackson suffered from chronic alcoholism before his death. His family suspected CTE because he sustained multiple concussions during a 12-year NFL career with the then-San Diego Chargers (2005-11) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-16).

“There is still a lot to be understood about CTE, and education is the key to prevention,” Jackson’s widow, Lindsey, said in a statement. “The conversation around this topic needs to be more prevalent, and our family hopes that others will feel comfortable and supported when talking about CTE moving forward.”

Jackson finished his career with 540 receptions for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media