3 NFL players who unfortunately passed away after a drug overdose

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell News Conference
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell News Conference
Matt Galea

NFL players seem to have it all, achieving both fame and fortune by playing a game they love. However, for some players, the demons that come with the high stakes of football can be too much to handle.

Whether it is alcohol, drugs or something else entirely, many football players fall into the trap of substance abuse.

The NFL, on its part, works with the players association to better educate today's players on the dangers that come with the game.


The hope is that no more names will be added to a list like this one. Sadly, there have been instances where accidents have happened and lives have been lost.

Here are three football players who unfortunately passed away after a drug overdose.

#1 Bubba Smith, (1945-2011)

Bubba SMITH played in the NFL before his best-known role as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy

Bubba Smith is a former Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion. He made a name for himself off the field as a comedic actor, best known from the Police Academy film series.

Smith died at the age of 66 from an "acute drug intoxication" with large amounts of phentermine found in his system. Phentermine is a drug used to suppress one's appetite.

#2 Gene Lipscomb (1931-1963)

Wow. Gene Lipscomb. 1961 Steelers. 17.5 sacks. Can you imagine being a QB with this guy coming at you?

Gene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb was a feared defensive tackle who was the sack leader in 1961. He played for the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Colts. A giant on the field, he stood at 6'6" and terrorized quarterbacks. Lipscomb made three Pro Bowls, was a multi-time All-Pro and a two-time NFL champion.

He was also a former professional wrestler who wrestled during the offseason. On May 10, 1963, Lipscomb died of a heroin overdose in Baltimore, Maryland.

#3 Dave Waymer (1958-1993)

Dave Waymer
Dave Waymer

Dave Waymer was a standout safety at the University of Notre Dame. He played for the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Raiders. Raymer made the Pro Bowl in 1987 and is part of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.

During the 1993 offseason, Waymer died of cardiac arrest caused by a cocaine overdose. He was 34 years old.

Edited by John Maxwell


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