Former Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons defensive back Keion Carpenter slipped and hit his head during a family vacation, and died Thursday morning at age 39, his family announced.
Carpenter played six seasons in the NFL, first making his way into the league as an undrafted free agent in 1999 with the Bills. He started 22 games for Buffalo and joined the Falcons in 2002, starting 39 games in three seasons in Atlanta.
In 2003, he fractured two vertebrae during a game and required spinal fusion surgery. He missed the entire 2004 season, but returned to start 15 games in 2005.
Family members say his death was a “freak accident” and Carpenter was in good health, but got hurt while playing with his son.
“They were running to the car when (Carpenter) slipped, fell, hit his head and slipped into a coma. It was just a freak accident,” Carpenter’s cousin Jamila Smith told the Baltimore Sun. “He was always healthy; he went to the doctor, ate well and worked out.”
In his five seasons in the NFL, Dalton’s been an underrated ironman, starting all 81 games he’s appeared in as a pro. In fact, he’s never missed more than a half due to injury in his 77 regular season starts or four playoff games. Per ESPN Stats and Info, including trick plays with throws by receivers and running backs, Cincinnati has only witnessed 58 pass attempts by a player other than Andy Dalton since the start of 2011 season.
I don’t have a ton of analysis on this other than “he might be looking for a new job soon,” but Jaguars kicker Jason Myers has now missed seven extra point attempts this season. The NFL’s new extra point rules are making things more interesting for sure, but I doubt that will buy Myers too much leeway at this point.
The good news for Jacksonville is 1) that they completely blew the Colts out, ending Indianapolis’ reign of terror in the AFC South dating back to 2012 (16 straight division wins), and 2) that they just might be seeing the beginning of a great career for Blake Bortles.