The NFL world received tragic news early Wednesday morning, when Adam Schefter reported that Hall of Fame defensive end Chris Doleman had passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 58.

Doleman was selected in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft, and played nine seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, two with the Atlanta Falcons, three more with the San Francisco 49ers, and then wrapped up his career with the team that drafted him in 1999.

In 15 seasons, Doleman recorded 975 combined tackles and 150.5 sacks, which ranks fifth all-time. He also led the league with 21 sacks in 1989, which at the time was tied for second-most in a season.

"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Chris Doleman after a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer," said David Baker, the Hall of Fame's president and CEO via ESPN. "I had the honor of getting to know him not only as a great football player but an outstanding human being. One of the honors of my life was witnessing Chris get baptized in the Jordan River during a Hall of Fame trip to Israel."

"The legacy of Chris Doleman will live forever in Canton, Ohio, for generations to learn from how he lived a life of courage and character."

Doleman battled brain cancer, and had surgery in 2018 to remove a brain tumor. While the Viking great never made it to a Super Bowl, he missed out on the playoffs only five times in his career. Doleman participated in a total of 17 postseason games and made eight Pro Bowls, according to He was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor in 2011 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. 

"The Minnesota Vikings express our deepest sympathies to Chris Doleman's family and friends upon his passing," the team said in a statement. "Chris was a great example for players past and present, as he embodied all the best characteristics of a Viking -- resilience, toughness and a competitive spirit. Chris always carried himself with dignity and class. Vikings fans worldwide will greatly miss him."