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5 NFL players who tragically passed away in 2022

Dwayne Haskins had rediscovered his talent in Pittsburgh
Dwayne Haskins had rediscovered his talent in Pittsburgh

Life, like NFL careers, can be short-lived, with no one really knowing just when our time will be up.

Despite NFL players being among the fittest athletes on the planet, we continue to see heart-breaking cases of players passing away way too early.

This year has been terrible for the NFL in that regard, with a number of players losing their lives.

On that note, here's a look at five NFL players who lost their lives in 2022:

#1 Jeff Gladney

Dallas Cowboys v Minnesota Vikings
Dallas Cowboys v Minnesota Vikings

Jeff Gladney's story is one of the most upsetting in recent times.

Gladney was drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and was set to be a mainstay on the Minnesota Vikings' defense for years to come. His rookie year in Minnesota was promising as he started all but one of the team's games that season. His play improved gradually, and he looked set to become a permanent fixture in the NFL.

But after being indicted on domestic violence charges, the Vikings released him, and it appeared his career was over. Gladney lost an entire year of his career as investigations and a trial took place before he was found not guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

Gladney was then expected to return to the NFL to make up for lost time, with the Arizona Cardinals signing him this offseason.

All the whispers from the Cardinals' early training sessions were that Gladney was motivated and happy to be making a return to the NFL.

Jeff Gladney of Arizona Cardinals has died in a car crash at age 25. Gladney played for Minnesota Vikings for two years before joining Arizona Cardinals in March this year. "We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney's passing," the Cardinals said in a statement. https://t.co/zg2xaOKi9c

In May 2022, Gladney was involved in a high-speed crash that killed the player and his girlfriend, Mercedes Palacios. He died at the age of 25 and left behind a one-year-old child.

#2 Shane Olivea

San Diego Chargers 2007 Headshots
San Diego Chargers 2007 Headshots

Shane Olivea was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2004, after a raft of injuries saw him drop to the seventh round. He was able to play 31 games in his first two seasons in the NFL, earning a huge contract worth $20 million.

Unfortunately for Olivea, this was the beginning of a downward spiral. He developed an addiction to pain medication, including painkillers.

He was released by the Chargers in 2007 but picked up by the New York Giants the following year. Injuries ended his promising NFL career a year later.

After claiming to have taken up to 125 Vicodin pills a day, Olivea enjoyed a miraculous return to sobriety. He returned to university in 2015 and earned a degree, and it was shocking to learn that he passed away earlier this year due to a heart condition brought on by obesity.

#3 Jaylon Ferguson

Baltimore Ravens Portrait of Jaylon Ferguson
Baltimore Ravens Portrait of Jaylon Ferguson

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson was pronounced dead on June 22. The cause of his death hasn't been released as yet. The former NFL player was treated by a medical crew at his home but was unresponsive and died at the scene.

Ferguson was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Ravens and was a valuable member of the team. He registered 67 tackles and 4.5 sacks over the course of his career.

#4 Junior Siavii

Seattle Seahawks 2011 Headshots
Seattle Seahawks 2011 Headshots

Junior Siavii was drafted in the second round of the 2004 draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, and he went on to spend six years in the league.

Repeated knee injuries ruined his time with the Chiefs. By the end of 2006, his knee had deteriorated to such an extent that he was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform List. He had surgery on microfractures, which kept him out of the NFL for two years.

The Dallas Cowboys brought him back in 2008, but injuries and the emergence of talented rookies saw Siavii lose his spot. He was released before being picked up by the Seahawks.

Injuries forced him to retire in 2010. Life started to spiral out of control after his retirement, as he found himself involved in drug trafficking and firearm crimes. In January, he was found dead in his cell while awaiting trial.

#5 Dwayne Haskins Jr

Washington Football Team v San Francisco 49ers
Washington Football Team v San Francisco 49ers

Dwayne Haskins was projected to be one of the best quarterbacks in the 2019 draft. Washington, though, struggled to find the best way to utilize Haskins, and it was a marriage that didn’t work out in the end.

After starting 13 games in two seasons, Haskins was released in 2021.

Death is something no one wants to endure. Regardless of age.But the amount of young athletes that reached their demise recently, from Dwayne Haskins to Jeff Gladney to Caleb Swanigan & now Jaylon Ferguson, is extremely heartbreaking. Thoughts & condolences to their families.

Signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers gave Haskins newfound hope, and he served as a backup to Ben Roethlisberger. Following Big Ben’s retirement, Haskins had a real shot at earning the starting job in Pittsburgh in 2022, but tragedy struck at the start of the offseason.

Haskins, who had excessive levels of alcohol, ketamine, and norketamine in his system, was walking across an interstate near Florida when he was hit by a dump truck and another vehicle.

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Edited by Piyush Bisht
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