The late family Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson made a statement Thursday to quash rumors of his cause of death.
Doni Smith, Ferguson’s fiancée, posted the comments on Twitter.
It came as TMZ Sports reported, citing Baltimore Police Departmentthat “researchers do not rule out the possibility of an overdose.”
“It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge the unexpected passing of our beloved Jaylon Ferguson. Jaylon was a loving father, son, brother, fiancé and an exceptional athlete. His kindness, big heart and infectious personality will be missed by many, but his legacy will live on. We deeply appreciate the calls, texts and messages of support from his many friends and fans when they learned of his tragedy,” the statement said.
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“Despite speculation in previous reports, at this point, the matter of Jaylon’s death has yet to be established. This is one of the darkest moments of our lives and we are still utterly shocked. We ask that you please respect our privacy as we navigate through this difficult time.
“Once again, thank you all for the love shown and a special thank you to the Baltimore Ravens and Louisiana Tech University.”
Ferguson’s death was announced on Wednesday. He was 26.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic Death of Jaylon Fergusonthe team said. “He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and an infectious personality.
“We extend our sincere condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.”
Ferguson’s agent, Safarrah Lawson, also released a statement.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Baltimore Ravens LB Jaylon Ferguson. The family asks for your prayers and privacy at this difficult time,” Lawson said.
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“Jaylon was a kindhearted, gentle person who loved his family and his team,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “He was a joy to talk to and be around every day. You always wanted to see and speak to ‘Ferg’. Our prayers and help go to his family. Our hearts are with his Spirit. RIP, Jaylon. “
Ravens linebacker Tyrus Bowser added: “Me and ‘Ferg’ went through the same struggles when it came to making a name for ourselves in the league. From there, we were able to gain understanding and help each other build and grow as players.
“From the script to the field – and even outside of work – we created a strong bond among each other. Whether I was having a bad day or vice versa, we encouraged each other, which is what I appreciated most and what I will miss him. His positive energy, encouragement and belief in me have shaped me into the player and man I am today. He will be missed but NEVER forgotten. Rest in peace, 45.”
The Ravens selected Ferguson in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft from Louisiana Tech. He played 14 games during his rookie season and had 31 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one fumble at recovery.
In 2020, Ferguson played in 14 games and had 30 tackles, 2 sacks and one fumble at recovery. In 2021, he only played in 10 games and had six times that season.
Ferguson was a standout linebacker at Louisiana Tech† He was named the 2018 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and was a selection for all first-team conferences in 2017 and 2018.
He recorded the most sacks in NCAA FBS history with 45.