Skip to main content

Broncos coach: No alarming behavior before player's apparent suicide

By the CNN Wire Staff
Kenny McKinley played in eight games with the Broncos as a rookie, but he was placed on injured reserve this season.
Kenny McKinley played in eight games with the Broncos as a rookie, but he was placed on injured reserve this season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead Monday afternoon
  • Investigation "is ongoing," says Arapahoe County sheriff's spokesman
  • McKinley was placed on injured reserve before the start of the season
  • "He was always a loving, caring guy," says Broncos teammate

Read more about pro athletes and depression on SI.com

(CNN) -- There was nothing alarming in the behavior of Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley in the weeks before his apparent suicide, Head Coach Josh McDaniels said Tuesday.

McKinley, 23, was found dead Monday afternoon in a Colorado home. Authorities said it appeared he died from a self-inflicted gunshot.

"We've all seen him recently and he's been the same person every time we've seen him," McDaniels said at a Tuesday news conference about McKinley's death.

"[McKinley] had a great smile, great personality, always in a good mood, certainly very well liked by everybody who knew him," McDaniels said. "[He] had a great off season and we were looking forward to Kenny making an impact on our football team this year."

"Out of respect for his family and Kenny I'm not going to speak about circumstances or details surrounding the situation," McDaniels said.

The Arapahoe County sheriff's department said in a statement Monday that "Deputies discovered a male in the second-floor master bedroom of the home and determined that male was deceased."

"Although the death of Mr. McKinley appears to be the result of a self-inflicted gunshot, the investigation into this matter ... is ongoing," the statement said.

Video: 'Love for the game, love for people'
RELATED TOPICS
  • Denver Broncos
  • Suicide
  • Colorado

McKinley was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft (141st overall) from the University of South Carolina, where he was the school's all-time leader in receptions. He attended South Cobb High School in Austell, Georgia.

He played in eight games with the Broncos as a rookie, but was placed on injured reserve before the start of the 2010 season after suffering a knee injury, according to the team.

The Broncos organization has brought in counselors to work with teammates and staff in the wake of McKinley's death, McDaniels said Tuesday.

"This makes the game seem small," he said.

The team is keeping McKinley's locker up this season as a tribute to him, McDaniels said.

"I don't think anybody in the locker room could remember anything bad about Kenny," Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard, the team captain, said at Tuesday's press conference. "He was always a loving, caring guy, always a big smile on his face."

McKinley is at least the third Bronco to have died since 2007. Cornerback Darrent Williams, 24, was fatally shot near downtown Denver, Colorado, on January 1, 2007. Running back Damien Nash, 24, died after collapsing at a charity basketball game later that winter.