William Wayne Jones III's football career at Tennessee State University ended abruptly and tragically when he collapsed during practice and died, The Tennessean reported. Jones was a freshman defensive back for TSU's football team, the Tigers. He hadn't played in a game yet for the Tigers because he was being redshirted. According to his coach, Jones had caught a football in the early stages of practice and was returning it when he suddenly collapsed in the grass.
“We didn’t think it was anything serious, but the trainers checked on him right away,” coach Rod Reed told The Tennessean.
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Trainers found the 19-year-old Jones unconscious with no pulse, the Associated Press reported. He was then taken to Baptist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
His death comes as many are questioning the safety of football. A recent study has shown that football players face a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease. And in a class action lawsuit from June, 2,138 players have accused the NFL of hiding information that linked football-related head trauma to permanent brain injuries.