If you were to turn on the TV on any given Sunday and tuned in to the game just in time to see a player drop dead on the field, what would be your reaction? You might be shocked, you might be horrified, you might be heartbroken. You may even think it's some kind of joke that someone is playing on you. But no matter how much you might want it not to happen, it's happened before. In fact, there have been several cases where an NFL football player has died during or after a game.
Has anyone ever died in an NFL game?
In short, yes. Several players have died as a direct result of injuries sustained during an NFL game. In most cases, these deaths were due to head or neck injuries. In some instances, players have suffered fatal heart attacks while on the field.
One of the most famous cases is that of former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau. In 2012, Seau committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. An autopsy revealed that he was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma. It is believed that Seau's CTE was caused by the many hits he took during his more than 20-year NFL career.
Another notable death occurred in 1971, when Detroit Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes collapsed and died of a heart attack during a game against the Chicago Bears. Hughes is believed to be the only player in NFL history to die during a game.
These are just two of the many tragic stories involving NFL players who have died as a direct result of playing the game. While it is impossible to prevent all injuries, the league has made significant strides in recent years in improving player safety. It is hoped that these efforts will help to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths.
What Happens When Someone Dies on an NFL Field?
When an NFL player dies on the field, it is a tragedy. The player's family and friends are left to mourn their loss, and the team is left to try to cope with the loss of one of its own. But what happens behind the scenes when an NFL player dies on the field?
There is no set protocol for what happens when an NFL player dies on the field. The decision is typically made by the team's medical staff and/or the league office. In some cases, the body is removed from the field immediately and taken to a nearby hospital. In other cases, players may be kept on the field so that they can be properly evaluated by medical personnel.
Once a player has been pronounced dead, his body is usually taken to a local morgue where an autopsy will be performed. The autopsy report will help determine the cause of death and may be used by the family in any legal proceedings that may follow.
The death of an NFL player is always a tragic event. But it is also an event that highlights the dangers of playing professional football. Players know that they are putting their bodies at risk every time they step onto the field, and they accept that risk.