The entire concussion debate is alive and well in the NFL right now, and rightly so. But, brain damage isn’t the only thing that’s ended NFL players’ lives while they were still playing in the league. These are stories that the league doesn’t want you to hear.
They’re a mix of tragedy, sadness, and unbelievably confusing circumstances. From accidental electrocutions to heart attacks to murders, here are all the players who’ve died while still in the prime of their football careers.
Fred Lane was quite the Cinderella story when he went undrafted in the 1997 NFL draft and was picked up by the Carolina Panthers. He quickly made his presence felt when he set a Panthers franchise rushing record for a game with 147 yards.
In 2000, he was shot and killed in a domestic dispute by his wife. She pleaded not guilty to voluntary manslaughter. She was sentenced to seven years and 11 months in prison.