By Ben Warwick

(CBS4) – Former Northern Colorado star wide receiver and NFL Pro Bowler Vincent Jackson had Stage II CTE in his brain at the time of his death, according to his family. Jackson was found dead in a Florida hotel room last February.

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The announcement came from Jackson’s family on Thursday.

“Vincent dedicated so much of his life to helping others. Even in his passing, I know he would want to continue that same legacy,” Lindsey Jackson, Vincent’s widow, said in a release. “By donating his brain to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, we hope to continue to see advancements in CTE research, enabling physicians to diagnose the disease in the living and ultimately find treatment options in the future. There is still a lot to be understood about CTE, and education is the key to prevention. 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.”

There are four stages of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Stage II is marked by depression, mood swings, headaches, and short-term memory loss, according to the CTE Society. Those who suffer from Stage II CTE can also struggle with aggression, impulsivity, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse.

Jackson played in the NFL for 12 years after a standout career at UNC in Greeley. He was elected to the Pro Bowl three times, twice as a member of the San Diego Chargers and once when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bears retired his number in October to honor his time with the team.

(credit: University of Northern Colorado)

Jackson was found dead in a hotel room in Florida in February. He was 38 years old.


Ben Warwick