Hall of Fame defensive end Chris Doleman has passed away. He was 58 years old.
Doleman became one of the NFL’s “most feared pass rushers” during his 15 seasons in the league, according to Fox News.
The Minnesota Vikings and Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker offered their sympathies in individual statements late Tuesday night, Jan. 28, 2020.
There has been no word concerning the cause or timing of Doleman’s death, however, he underwent surgery in January 2018 to have a brain tumor removed.
Since the tumor was removed, Doleman had been struggling with glioblastoma, according to the NFL. Glioblastoma is a form of cancer that occurs in the brain or spinal cord, according to the Mayo Clinic.
This is the same form of cancer that took the life of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, Joe Biden’s son, Beau, and Sen. Edward Kennedy.
When he was diagnosed Doleman told NBC Sports that he “cried like a baby.”
“When a doctor tells you that you have brain cancer, it changes your whole world. Those are the scariest words that you’ll ever hear in your life. When I first heard it, I was so devastated by it I couldn’t get any words out of my mouth. How many people do you know who survive brain cancer?”
Before being selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 1985 NFL draft, Doleman played college football for Pittsburgh. He played his first nine seasons with the Vikings and collected a league-high 21 sacks in 1989, according to Fox News.
Doleman stood six-foot, five inches tall. Doleman played for Atlanta and San Fransisco before returning to Minnesota in 1999. During his career, Doleman collected 150 ½ sacks in 232 games. Additionally, he was a first-team All-Pro selection on two occasions. He also played in eight Pro Bowl games.
The Minnesota Vikings remembered him 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.”
By Jeanette Vietti
Fox News: Chris Doleman, Hall of Fame defensive end, dies at 58
CNN: Chris Doleman, Hall of Fame defensive end, dies at 58
NBC News: Chris Doleman, NFL Hall of Famer, dies at 58
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