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NFL: Honoring the eleven NFL players who sadly passed away in February 2021

Darrius Johnson
Darrius Johnson
Modified 03 Mar 2021

Eleven former NFL greats passed away during the month of February. The NFL world stands as one in times of tragedy, so join us as we salute the eleven NFL players and managers who sadly are no longer with us.

Former NFL players and coaches who passed away in February 2021

Josh Evans: Feb 4, 2021

Josh Evans, the former Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans, and New York Jets defensive tackle passed away on February 4, 2021, following a battle with kidney cancer.

“His fight against cancer was one of courage and strength and his teammates were by his side encouraging him throughout that fight,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk in a statement released by the team. “We will remember his big personality and even bigger smile.”

Evans registered 21.5 sacks in just 53 games during a solid career.

Willie Scott Jr: Feb 8, 2021

Former New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Willie Scott passed away at the age of 61.


Scott originally entered the NFL as a first-round choice of the Chiefs in 1981. He was the 14th overall pick out of South Carolina. He played in 97 NFL games, catching 89 passes for 766 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Scott spent five seasons with the Chiefs before they traded him to New England. He played three years with the Patriots.

Our thoughts are with his family.

Marty Schottenheimer: Feb 9, 2021

Cowboys v Chargers
Cowboys v Chargers

The legendary Marty Schottenheimer, famed for his unique brand of smash-mouth football was the eighth-winningest coach in NFL history. He went 200-126-1 in 21 seasons with the Browns, Chiefs, Washington and the Chargers.

Schottenheimer had been suffering from the degenerative brain disorder Alzheimer's. R.I.P. coach Marty.

Claude Crabb: Feb 14, 2021


Claude Crabb spent seven years in the NFL. He represented three teams and intercepted six passes as a rookie for the Washington Redskins in 1962.

Crabb, a defensive back, finished his career with 10 interceptions, including a 53-yard pick-six. He retired with the Los Angeles Rams in 1969.

Crabb appeared in one playoff game with the Rams in 1967 but was bested by the great Packers team that went on to win Super Bowl ll.

Our condolences to his family and friends.

Vincent Jackson: Feb 15, 2021

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers captain and wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead in a Florida hotel room.

The Pro Bowl wideout is thought to have struggled with alcoholism and other health issues that were brought on due to CTE, a result of repetitive head trauma.

A full investigation into Jackson's death is currently underway.

John Roach: Feb 18, 2021


John Roach spent his professional career with the Dallas Cowboys and threw for 2,765-yards.

Our thoughts are with his family.

Art Michalik: Feb 21, 2021

Art Michalik, the former NFL linebacker and professional wrestler, died at the age of 91.

Michalik was famed for his hard-hitting style that, in many ways, ushered in the era of the facemask. Michalik hit legendary Browns QB Otto Graham so hard that he had to return to the game wearing a makeshift plexiglass facemask, an early prototype of the kind we see in the NFL today.

Our thoughts are with his family.

Dick Witcher: Feb 21, 2021

Former San Francisco 49ers receiver, Dick Witcher, died of liver cancer. Witcher scored 15 TDs during a storied NFL career in California.


Doug Wilkerson: Feb 23, 2021

Doug Wilkerson, the fierce blocker who represented the San Diego Chargers, died during February, too.

Chargers colleagues who visited him said he had been living in a memory care home.

Wilkerson played 14 seasons in San Diego and will live forever in the Chargers Hall of Fame.

Darrius Johnson: Feb 25, 2021

Former Denver Bronco and Oklahoma Sooners' CB Darrius Johnson died of sudden heart failure aged just 47.

Johnson played in 61 games for Denver over four seasons and featured in the 1997 and 1998 Super Bowl squads.

Louis Nix lll, Feb 28, 2021


Nix lll lost a lung after being shot during an armed robbery. The Notre Dame product recovered well but died in mysterious circumstances not long after.

Police pulled Nix's car from a lake, not far from where the original robbery and shooting had occurred.

An investigation into the circumstances that led to Nix's death is currently underway in Jacksonville, Florida.

Published 03 Mar 2021, 01:23 IST
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