Autopsy: Bears DE Gaines Adams Died of Cardiac Arrest

Bears "stunned and saddened" by death

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010  |  Updated 6:24 PM EDT
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Bears React to Death of Gaines Adams

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Chicago Bear defensive end Gaines Adams died Sunday in his home town of Greenville, South Carolina.

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Bears React to Death of Gaines Adams

Gaines Adams played for the Bears for just 10 games, but the impact of his death may be felt for much longer. NBC's Peggy Kusinski caught up with Bears defensive end Alex Brown to get his reaction to the death of his teammate.
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Chicago Bears defensive end Gaines Adams died Sunday morning in his home town of Greenwood, South Carolina, according to County Coroner James Coursey. He was 26.

A preliminary autopsy Sunday indicated Adams died of cardiac arrest caused by an enlarged heart, Coursey said. The 6-foot-5, 258-pound end for the Bears was pronounced dead shortly after 8 AM at Self Regional Hospital, where he had been taken to the emergency room.

"We are stunned and saddened by the news of Gaines' passing," a statement from the Chicago Bears said." Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time."

"What 26-year-old dies suddenly?" a shocked defensive end teammate Alex Brown asked. "It was very unfortunate he had to leave us so soon." 

"He was a great kid, a hard worker who always had a smile on his face,” former Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t know anybody who didn’t like Gaines Adams.”

 Although he had limited playing time with the Bears this season, Gruden told the Sun-Times the Chicago coaching staff looked forward to working with Adams in the off season.

"They had big plans for him," Gruden told the paper. "Everybody who knew Gaines like Gaines. This is a tragic loss for us all.”

In October, Adams was traded to the Bears from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  In 2008, he led the Bucs with a career-high 6.5 sacks and started every game at defensive end. He was the fourth player chosen in the 2007 National Football League draft.

"I remember him at the 2007 Draft as a fine young man," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Our condolences to Gaines' family, his teammates on the Bears and Buccaneers, and their organizations on their loss."

Adams was a college all-American at Clemson University, where he had 28 career sacks. He was born on June 8, 1983 in Greenwood, South Carolina. 

His death remains under investigation by the Greenwood County Coroner's Office and the Greenwood County Sheriff's office.

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