The Baltimore medical examiner announced that Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson died due to the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine. Ferguson was found unresponsive at a Baltimore residence on June 21 and, according to police, never regained consciousness after being treated by medics. He was pronounced dead by medics at the scene. The official statement also ruled the death was an accident and there was no foul play.
The Ravens released a statement on Friday after the news.
“Our priority is focused on the man Jaylon was and the positive impact he made on so many as a father, son, fiancé, friend and teammate,” the Ravens said in a statement issued Friday. “It would be inappropriate for us to comment further while we continue to support his family and teammates, who are mourning the tragic loss of a loved one and will celebrate his life [Saturday].”
He was selected by the Ravens in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In 38 games he tallied 67 tackles, four and a half sacks, two pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.
During his college playing career at Louisiana Tech, he broke the school record for career sacks and broke his own school record for sacks in a single-season with 17.5. His nickname was “Sack Daddy.” Ferguson became the NCAA FBS career sack leader during the 2018 Hawaii Bowl, and was also named MVP of that game.
This was going to be a big year for Ferguson, as he attended all the Ravens offseason OTAs and practiced at a high level.
“Jaylon, right now, he’s doing a great job. He’s competing,” said defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald said earlier this month, via SI.com. “The techniques that we’re teaching are slightly different than he knows, so that’s a little bit of a learning curve for him, but once he gets out there full-go and rolling, then I expect him to compete.”
Ferguson was 26 and his funeral will be held in Louisiana, where he grew up and played college football.
He leaves behind a fiancée Doni, and three children — Jyce, Jrea and Demi — all of whom are under the age of 5.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Doni and Ferguson’s children. The post reads in part:
Hello everyone, This GoFundMe is being made in the midst of tragedy.. A beloved son, brother, fiancé, athlete, and Father, Jaylon Ferguson has passed away. Jay as he was affectionately known as, was so many things but above all Jay was an amazing father. He loved his 3 children fiercely: Jyce, Jrea, and Demi were his world!
Jaylon was a provider for his family and in times like this we have to come together and help where we can. If you are not able to make a monetary donation we implore you to please say a prayer for all of the family affected by his passing.
It has been a particularly tragic offseason in the NFL, as Ferguson is the third active player to pass away following the deaths of Dwayne Haskins on April 9 and Jeff Gladney on May 30.