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Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, whose death last week at the age of 26 sent shockwaves through the NFL, died from the “combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine,” authorities said Friday.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, a statewide agency in Maryland, also determined Ferguson’s manner of death was an accident.
Ferguson’s family could not be reached for comment Friday. His agent, Safarrah Lawson, declined to discuss the findings, which were released the day before Ferguson’s funeral. The service will be held Saturday in his native Louisiana.
In a statement to NBC News, the Ravens said: “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. 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 tomorrow.”
On June 21, Baltimore police responded just before 11:30 p.m. to a report of a questionable death and found Ferguson “unresponsive, being treated by medics,” the department said in a statement.
He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the statement.
“No signs of trauma was found or foul play suspected at this time but investigators are not ruling out the possibility of an overdose,” police said.
The status of the police department’s investigation into Ferguson’s death was unclear Friday.
Fentanyl and opioids were blamed for the record number of overdose deaths in 2020, according to a U.S. government report released in July 2021.
After Ferguson’s death, the NFL and his teammates shared their shock and condolences on social media, too.
The league called it a “tragic loss.”
A tweet from the Ravens said Ferguson was “a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality.”
Ferguson played college football at Louisiana Tech before joining the Ravens.
At Louisiana Tech, Ferguson made 45 sacks, breaking an NCAA record in 2018 and validating his nickname of “Sack Daddy.” His jersey number with the Ravens was 45.
The Ravens drafted him in the third round the next year. Ferguson was preparing for his fourth season with the team.