Vincent Jackson: Former NFL star's cause of death revealed

Jackson played 12 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring in 2018

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Vincent Jackson, the 38-year-old former NFL receiver who was found dead in a Florida hotel room earlier this year, died from chronic alcohol use, a Florida medical examiner said on Wednesday.

The Hillsborough County medical examiner said Jackson’s body exhibited signs of alcohol-related cardiovascular disease, kidney failure and other injuries, including bruises to his torso, Fox 13 News reported. 

Jackson played 12 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring in 2018. He was diagnosed after his death with stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a progressive degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive head trauma. 

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"He shared with me once that alcohol made him feel calm," Lindsey Jackson, his widow, said, according to the station. He said it "made him feel like himself and that his brain was really fuzzy and this made it not fuzzy."

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Vincent Jackson looks on from the field after a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Vincent Jackson looks on from the field after a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) ( George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

The station, citing county deputies, reported that Jackson checked into a hotel on Jan. 11, 2021, and he was reported missing by his family about a month later. He met with deputies and the missing-person case was resolved, and he was found dead three days later by a housekeeper. 

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Vincent Jackson celebrates his touchdown against the Denver Broncos in the first half during Monday Night Football on October 19, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Vincent Jackson celebrates his touchdown against the Denver Broncos in the first half during Monday Night Football on October 19, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) ( Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

He was remembered for his service to his community. 

Vincent Jackson works out during Training Camp at One Buc Place in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Vincent Jackson works out during Training Camp at One Buc Place in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) (Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

"Vincent was a consummate professional, who took a great deal of pride in his performance on and off the football field. Vincent was a dedicated father, husband, businessman and philanthropist, who made a deep impact on our community through his unyielding advocacy for military families, supported by the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation," the Buccaneers statement read.

The Associated Press contributed to this report