The apparent murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, is one of a series of untimely deaths for current or former NFL players in recent years:
— In July 2012, Tennessee Titans receiver O.J. Murdock, 25, was found in his car in front of his Florida high school with what appeared to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
— In May 2012, Junior Seau, 43, shot himself in the chest at his home, less than 2½ years after ending his Pro Bowl career as a linebacker. His family has donated some of his brain tissue for research amid questions about whether any damage from his 20-year football career played a factor in his suicide. His was at least the eighth among the 1994 San Diego Chargers, who played in the Super Bowl, joining Lew Bush (42; December 2011; apparent heart attack), Shawn Lee (44; February 2011; heart attack), Chris Mims (38; October 2008; enlarged heart), Curtis Whitley (39; May 2008; drug overdose), Doug Miller (28; July 1998; lightning strike), Rodney Culver (26; May 1996; airplane crash), David Griggs (28; July 1995; automobile accident).
— In April 2012, former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, 62, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An autopsy report found he had a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated concussions. Easterling played from 1972 to 1979 as a member of Atlanta's "Gritz Blitz" defense. After his career, he dealt with dementia, depression and insomnia, according to his widow.
— In February 2011, two-time Super Bowl champion Dave Duerson, 50, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest at his home in Florida. Duerson had at least 10 concussions in his NFL career, according to his family, and lost consciousness during some. He left notes for his family asking that his brain be donated to science, and researchers at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University's School of Medicine concluded he had "moderately advanced" brain damage related to blows to the head.