A recent autopsy of a former NFL lineman from Pennsylvania who killed himself at the age of 25 shows the athlete had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative brain disease related to repeated brain injuries.
Adrian Robinson Jr.’s diagnosis of CTE was confirmed by Chris Nowinski of the Boston University-affiliated Concussion Legacy Foundation, according to ABC News. Family lawyer Ben Andreozzi says Robinson had a history of concussions including during his two seasons I the NFL.
Before playing for Pittsburgh, Denver, and San Diego during his short time in the NFL, Robinson also played for Temple University in Philadelphia.
“He went from being one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to talk to, to having a darker edge at times,” Andreozzi said. “The family started noticing changes in his behavior, and didn’t know why.”
Robinson’s death is similar to the premature deaths of several former NFL players, including Junior Seau, the retired NFL star who made headlines with his 2013 suicide.
Unlike Seau’s family, Robinson’s family has not filed a lawsuit over his death in May. However, the NFL is still dealing with the fallout from a lawsuit involving thousands of former NFL players who sued the league over concussions, claiming the league hid information surrounding the long-term effects of repeated head injuries.
The NFL has agreed to pay into a fund that could reach $1 billion to settle injury claims including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and CTE-related deaths, without acknowledging wrongdoing. While the settlement had been approved by a federal judge, it is currently on hold while critics of the agreement appeal.