OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has died at the age of 26.
The team confirmed his death Wednesday.
Baltimore Police said Ferguson was found unresponsive inside a home in the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue, just before 11:30 Tuesday night.
Although investigators found no immediate signs of trauma or foul play, they are calling the death questionable but not ruling out the possibility of an overdose. An autopsy will determine the official cause.
Ferguson was entering his fourth season with the team after being selected 85th overall, in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Louisiana Tech.
First-year Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald commented earlier this month on how Ferguson was adapting in off season workouts to a new setup.
"Right now, he’s doing a great job. He’s competing. The techniques that we’re teaching are slightly different than he knows, so that’s a little bit of a learning curve for him, but once he gets out there full-go and rolling, then I expect him to compete," Macdonald said June 1.
Fans came to know Ferguson by his on-field nickname "Sack Daddy."
In 38 total career games, he posted 4.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Reaction from teammates started pouring in on Twitter almost immediately after the sad news was announced.
Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley expressed disbelief calling Ferguson, "a great father with only good intentions," who "wanted to see people succeed."
Fellow linebacker Patrick Queen tweeted, "My brother. I love you man."
Pro Bowl fullback Pat Ricard wrote, "I can’t believe this. Just absolutely tragic."
The NFL also released a statement saying they "are heartbroken to hear of the tragic loss."
We are heartbroken to hear of the tragic loss of Jaylon Ferguson. The NFL family sends our deepest condolences to his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/LYEHSrB7JY— NFL (@NFL) June 22, 2022
His fiance posted a statement on twitter from the family saying, "It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge the unexpected passing of our beloved Jaylon Ferguson. Jaylon was a loving father, son, brother, fiance and an exceptional athlete. His kindness, big heart and infectious personality will be missed by so many, but his legacy will continue. We wholeheartedly appreciate the calls, text and post of support from his many friends and fans upon learning of this tragedy."
Here is more reaction and full statements from Ravens staff and players on Ferguson's death:
Head Coach John Harbaugh: “Jaylon was a good-hearted, gentle person who loved his family and his team. He was a joy to talk with and be around every day. You always wanted to see and talk to ‘Ferg.’ Our prayers and our help go to his family. Our hearts are with his Spirit. R.I.P., Jaylon.”
Tyus Bowser: “Me and ‘Ferg’ went through some of the same struggles when it came to making a name for ourselves in the league. From that, we were able to gain an understanding and help each other build and grow as players. From the playbook, to the field – and even outside of work – we created a strong bond amongst ourselves. Whether I was having a bad day or vice versa, we encouraged each other, and that’s what I appreciated most and what I’ll miss about him. His positive energy, encouragement and his belief in me helped mold me into the player and man I am today. He will be missed but NEVER forgotten. Rest Easy, 45.”
Calais Campbell: “Jaylon was a great young man to be around. He usually had a big smile on his face and would lighten up the room with a joke. He was just a great, fun guy. He will be missed.”
Tony Jefferson: “‘J Ferg’ had the most genuine energy I’ve ever been around. Before I left after minicamp in the locker room, he expressed how he was ready to have a big year, and I believed it was going to be his best season as a Raven. He will be watching over us, I know it, and he will bring the team closer just from his mark he left. He will definitely be missed. We love you, ‘Ferg Dog.’ May you continue to send your contagious energy to this team every day. We need it to get to where we want to get. You will never be forgotten in Jesus’ name!”
Pat Ricard: “My heart is broken for Jaylon and his family. This doesn’t feel real as I write these words. Life is too short to not cherish every moment and every person. Jaylon is someone I will cherish for the rest of my life. His smile and uplifting attitude are two things I will never forget. You’d find a smile on his face no matter how the day was going. His personality was infectious throughout the locker room, and there wasn’t a person in the organization who didn’t have respect for him. My deepest condolences go out to Jaylon and his family.”
Ronnie Stanley: “Jaylon had a pure heart. He wanted to be a great player, but never tried to downplay his teammates to get there. While going against him in practice, he would always tell me when I was doing a good job, even when it meant it was against himself. He was always with a smile and had an eagerness to learn. He wanted to be better for himself and his kids. He was so excited every time he had a new kid who was about to be born. He always talked about them and how he plays for them.”
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott: "I am saddened by the loss of Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson. He was just a young man living a life that most of us can only dream of. Jaylon was torn from this world in the prime of his life. I ask that we all pray for his family and three children, his friends, and his teammates as they deal with this tragedy."