Ferguson, who played three seasons for the Ravens after being drafted in 2019 out of Louisiana Tech, was found dead on June 21. The death, the latest in a disturbing string of cases of NFL players dying, was a mystery until Friday, when the Baltimore Medical Examiner’s Office released the cause.
Ferguson’s death was caused by “the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine,” the autopsy concluded.
Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Jaylon Ferguson died due to "the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine," officials announced on Friday. https://t.co/tHlvGDvh04
— TMZ (@TMZ) July 1, 2022
The team declined to comment on the latest development when reached by the The Baltimore Banner.
“Our priority is focused on the man Jaylon was and the positive impact he made on so many as a father, son, fiancé, friend and teammate,” the team said in a statement. “It would be inappropriate for us to comment further while we continue to support his family and teammates, who are mourning the tragic loss of a loved one and will celebrate his life tomorrow.”
Safarrah Lawson, the NFL player’s agent, declined to comment Friday as well.
Family and friends of the 6-foot, 5-inch, 270-pound athlete were set to gather in Louisiana Saturday to celebrate his life. He had reportedly been battling depression after the recent death of his grandmother and a fire at his home in Owings Mills, a friend who found his body told police.
Ferguson’s family started an online drive to raise money for his three children and fiancée Doni Smith after the fire.
“To give you insight on the type of father he was he desperately tried to put out the fire in order to save his children’s possessions to the point where his own toes were burned in the process,” according to the fundraiser page.
“Jaylon was a loving father, son, brother, fiancée and an exception athlete. His kindness, big heart and infectious personality will be missed by so many, but his legacy will continue,” his family wrote on Instagram.
Earlier last month, the NFL world was stunned by the death of Marion Barber, who was just 38 years old. His cause of death has yet to be determined, although former Dallas Cowboys teammate Terence Newman said Barber had been in bad shape for awhile.
“He wasn’t doing too well … he looked bad … like a different person, like he couldn’t function,” Newman said, according to Sports Illustrated. “When I tell you I was scared, I thought he might swing on me.”
Although speculation has swirled that the former running back suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the late player’s father Marion Barber II said in a recent interview that his son did not want his brain donated for CTE research.