The cause of death of Jaylon Ferguson – a Baltimore Ravens defensive end who passed away on June 21 at just the age of 26 – has been revealed. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, it was from the “combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine.”
With these details revealed, it marks the second recent death of an NFL player that may have been caused by drugs and/or alcohol.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins tragically died on April 9 after being hit by a truck on the highway. He was “witnessed waiving cars down on the shoulder” of I-595 near Miami before he was struck. He passed away from of blunt force trauma and the death was deemed to be accidental, per the autopsy report.
Weeks later, medical examiners found Haskins’ blood-alcohol level to be .20 at the time of death. In addition, he tested positive for ketamine and norktamine, drugs that can be used as a medical anesthetic or recreationally. The toxicology report does not give any indication of why the drugs would have been in his system.
More Jaylon Ferguson Details
Jaylon Ferguson was found dead on June 21 and the news was made public the next day. At the time, the cause of death was unknown. Later that week, it was rumored that his passing was related to illegal substances. That rumor was rebutted at the time by Ferguson’s fiancé, Doni Smith.
Baltimore selected Ferguson with the 85th overall pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In 38 games – 10 starts – over his first three seasons, he recorded 67 total tackles – including 13 for loss – with 4.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hits.
Ferguson attended LA Tech for college, where he recorded 45 career sacks as a four-year starter for the Bulldogs. The 45 sacks in 50 games passed Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs and made him the NCAA’s all-time FBS career sack leader. He also had 187 total tackles – including 67.5 for loss – and seven forced fumbles in college.