According to the Tampa Police, he was found in his car early this morning — the car was parked in front of Middleton High School, where he had played when he was younger. When found he was in critical condition, but died soon after in Tampa General Hospital.
It was reported last week that he hadn’t shown up to training because of personal issues — what those are and whether his suicide was related to head injuries and concussions in his career is unknown at this time. Depression and suicide has been linked to a history of concussion, and there have been an increasing number of suicides in the NFL of late.
OJ was a new player for the Titans, who released a statement:
We are shocked and saddened to hear of O.J. Murdock’s death this morning. In his brief time here, a number of our players, coaches and staff had grown close to O.J., and this is a difficult time for them. He spent the last year battling back from an Achilles injury as he prepared for this year’s training camp. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they try to cope with this tragedy.
When he was in high school, he was rated the 10th best wide receiver recruit and he signed with the University of South Carolina. He only played four games as a Gamecock before he was arrested for shoplifting and suspended. He finished his college career at Pearl River Community College and Fort Hays State and was invited to join the NFL Scouting Combine after a stellar senior year record. He was also a teammate to Kenny McKinley, a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos who committed suicide in 2010.
He was signed by the Titans last year, but spent the entire season out of the game, having been injured during training camp.
Murdock is the latest in a large number of NFL gun injuries and suicides and the NFL is currently looking into the relationship between concussions and suicide. Our thoughts and best wishes are with the Murdock family and the Titans today.