Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson passed away June 21 at the age of 26. He died from the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine, a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner told The Baltimore Sun.
The death was ruled an accident following an autopsy, according to the agency's spokesman Bruce Goldfarb.
Ferguson was a third-round pick of the Ravens in 2019 who earned his way into the NFL by becoming a star player for Louisiana Tech. In three seasons with the Ravens, Ferguson totaled 67 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Ferguson was the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 and earned first-team All-C-USA honors on two separate occasions -- while setting school and NCAA sack records in the process.
After earning MVP honors in the 2018 Hawaii Bowl, the Louisiana native was selected by the Ravens in the 2019 NFL Draft as the 85th overall pick, spending three seasons in Baltimore and ingratiating himself with the city. The Ravens organization issued the following statement after Ferguson's death:
"We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson. He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon's family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon."
"Jaylon was a good-hearted, gentle person who loved his family and his team," Harbaugh said. "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."
"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," Stanley said. "He was so excited every time he had a new kid who was about to be born. He always talked about them."
The family released a statement calling the incident "one of the darkest moments in our lives" and asked for privacy during this "difficult time."
Baltimore Police told The Sun that officers responded to reports of a questionable death at a home on the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue in Baltimore's Harwood neighborhood, where they found Ferguson unresponsive and receiving treatment from medics.
"Ferguson never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on the scene by medics," Baltimore Police spokeswoman Niki Fennoy said in a statement.
A funeral service for Ferguson is scheduled for Saturday at Magnolia Full Gospel Baptist Church in Saint Francisville, Louisiana, according to an Instagram post from his fiancée, Doni Smith.