Former Chicago Bears running back Rashaan Salaam, a Heisman Trophy winner, died on Monday night.
Salaam was 42 years old, and was found dead in a Boulder, Colorado park. He played for the University of Colorado football team, and rushed for a school-record 2.055 yards. The team released a statement about his death on Tuesday.
“The Buff Family has lost an outstanding young man and a great Buff today,” athletic director Rick George said. “We are heartbroken for Rashaan and his family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time.”
Salaam played for the Chicago Bears, who drafted him in the first round with the 21st overall pick, from 1995-97. The team didn’t offer a statement about his death, but did tweet this:
As a rookie, Salaam rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns. He became the youngest player to rush for over 1,000 yards. Unfortunately, he suffered a leg injury in 1997, and admitted he turned to marijuana for the pain. After brief stints with a few other NFL teams, Salaam moved on to play in the CFL and XFL.
We offer our thoughts and prayers to his family during this difficult time.