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Who was Phillip Adams? Former NFL pro played for 49ers, Seahawks before shooting himself

Phillip Adams
Phillip Adams
Walter Sharp
Modified 09 Apr 2021

The San Francisco 49ers selected South Carolina State defensive back Phillip Adams with their 224th pick in the seventh-round of the 2010 NFL Draft. During his rookie season with the 49ers, Phillip Adams suffered an ankle injury that caused him to have surgery. The surgery consisted of several screws being inserted into his leg to repair.

Before being selected by the San Francisco 49ers, Adams played his college football career at South Carolina State. During his time at South Carolina State, Phillip became a first-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference defensive back during his senior season. Adams played both basketball and football at Rock Hill High School before heading to South Carolina State. Take a look at how Phillip Adams' NFL career turned out.

Did Phillip Adams NFL career lead him to taking his own life?

Former DB Phillip Adams
Former DB Phillip Adams

There has been a lot of speculation that the injuries sustained during Phillip Adams' career could be the root to hit actions on Wednesday. It's no secret that the NFL causes a lot of injuries to an individual's brain. Adams suffered two concussions over a three-game span with the Oakland Raiders.

During his seven-year NFL career, Phillip Adams spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. Adams wasn't a full-time starter in the NFL, but he started 11 games and appeared in 78. Throughout those 78 games he registered 128 total tackles and five interceptions.

The former NFL athlete could've been suffering from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). According to, CTE is not related to the immediate consequences of a late-life episode of head trauma. CTE has a complex relationship to head traumas such as post-concussion syndrome and second impact syndrome that occur earlier in life.


Symptoms of CTE

  • Difficulty thinking (cognitive impairment)
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Depression or apathy
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty planning and carrying out tasks
  • Emotional instability
  • Substance misuse
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

It will not be determined if Phillip Adams suffered from CTE because an autopsy needs to be conducted. The medical examiner will need to study his brain to tell if he did suffer from CTE.

When looking at the situation, the majority of the signs point towards CTE. Adams acted with impulsive behavior by shooting the six victims. He also had emotional instability and suicidal thoughts when he took his own life. Until the autopsy report comes back, it's hard to say whether the head injuries he endured from his NFL career had anything to do with his actions on Wednesday.

Published 09 Apr 2021, 01:22 IST
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