September 20th, 2010
09:58 PM ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver dies

Kenny McKinley played in eight games for the Broncos as a rookie in the 2009 season.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley has died, according to a statement released by the organization Monday. He was 23.

The NFL team hasn't released information about how McKinley died. Head coach Josh McDaniels will speak to the media at noon on Tuesday, the team said.

McKinley was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft from the University of South Carolina. 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.

"Everyone with the Broncos is shocked and saddened by the loss of Kenny McKinley," Broncos President and CEO Pat Bowlen said in a statement on the Broncos' website. "He was part of the Broncos family and will be greatly missed by our organization. My most heartfelt condolences go out to Kenny's family and friends."

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

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soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Dee,Shadow,Kodie

    We are so sorry to hear of Kenny's passing.We send our condolance to his family and team mates.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • K in ABQ

      I'm sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with his family.

      September 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • maryann

      This is too sad and happening too often. I think all players should have a physical every 1 or 2 years with emphasis on the heart.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jdiz

      Maryann, he died of a gun shot wound, according to ESPN.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Gatorman


      I agree that the guys need to be screened. But here's the reality:

      Every single NFL player gets a very comprehensive physical each and every year, complete with EKG (general population of young people NEVER get this), blood draw testing for a million things (again, that are not normally indicated when cost is a consideration) and consultation with internal med docs and ortho docs. This is on top of the fact that a team physician is coming by the training facility almost daily, and (more importantly) a staff of athletic trainers know these guys better than their own families in some cases!

      Unfortunately, there are many conditions with the initial presenting symptom of "Sudden Death"–meaning that no one could detect them earlier (shy of giving everyone very expensive and rarely indicated tests). It's sad but I don't know what else could be done.

      Regardless, I've heard mixed reports on what happened to him, and it was likely unrelated to cardiac problems anyway.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |

      he killed himself ...he didnt just die CNN GET YOUR MIND RIGHT..AND STEP YOUR GAME UP

      September 21, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      At least the 3rd death? How about you do your research CNN and get the *exact number* and stick to it. That seems a little shoddy considering the man just passed away.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • bobby furman

      They say that because of the hits he was taking something was wrong with his brain

      September 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chris

    A few years ago, Denver lost two players in less then a month, and here they go again, losing aanother teammate. Why is Denver so cursed?

    September 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      I was gonna say didnt Darent Williams Die last year? I feel so bad for the Broncos and the families

      September 20, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      Darent Williams died almost 4 years ago

      September 21, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. ESPN Watcher

    ESPN is reporting this as a suicide

    September 20, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • HomeSkillet

      Um... no they're not.

      "Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said authorities were called to McKinley's home in Centennial and found his body. Robinson said he couldn't provide any more details because detectives were investigating and in the process of notifying relatives."

      September 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peddy

      Yes they did. Watch Monday night

      September 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARMYofONE

      Uh yes it is reported as suicide.

      September 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TonyN10

      Um, yes they are. Just say'n, only millions just saw the report on LIVE TV.

      September 20, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      HomeSkillet – all sources are reporting it now (all except CNN, but then they're usually way behind). It appears he shot himself.

      September 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • captnmorgan

      whats up with this idiot Numbaoneballa sayin he was the victem of constant racial taunting in the locker room? maybe you dont notice but almost everybody that plays in the NFL is black. learn some sense

      September 21, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • bianca

      I'm really saddened and disturbed at the amount of black athletes that are dying......three from the Denver Broncos, and this promising young fellow, Garrett, just this weekend.....I just pray there is no funny business going condolences and prayers are with his family, and that they are comforted during this difficult time.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. corby

    Man. The Broncos have had some seriously bad luck in the past few years. Darrent WIlliams is murdered, Damien Nash drops dead, and McKinley puts a bullet into his head...Shees.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Susann

    He had so much going fo him, so said if this is truly a suicide. The season just started 😦 My sympathies to his family and friends.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • amyp

      the SEASON just started?! His LIFE had just started, very sad. Thoughts & prayers to his friends & family.

      September 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • heavy1

      The SEASON just started?? Really? Really, Susann?? He was 23 years old.

      September 20, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sherrill in oklahoma

    Terrible and such a young is saying he killed himself. I pray for him and his family. God Bless.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. me

    Austell, GA is hardly the 'hood'. A sad story none-the-less. Hope it is not drug related.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gahornsfan

      Austell, ga is absolutely the "hood". Bankhead highway ring a bell, moron?

      September 20, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bob

    he didn't grow up in the ghetto. austell isn't a bad area. i seen him play a few times at south cobb. heck of a player.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TonyN10

    Very sad. I just heard it may have been a suicide. This is a sad situation. We all should be very aware of the symptoms. If you know anyone who may need help, don't NOT do anything. My prayers go out to his family and friends.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nyckid

    B rutal. Someone's little boy even tho' he was 23 and a football player... My condolences to his family and friends. Another American kid gone too soon... 😦

    September 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • SnareDrum

      Any kid gone is another kid gone too soon.

      September 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tjhiggs

    My deepest condolences to the McKinley family. My prayer for you is strength, support, and understanding.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Reality

    Numbaoneballa, wdf are you talking about "a brotha finally makes it out the hood and then this"

    lol so he has to be from the hood because he's black? lol I'm from Georgia, and read the article. He's from Austell and went South Cobb High. lol He wasnt "hood."

    Cobb County is a decent-to-well off northern suburb of ATL.

    R.I.P. to him and condolences to the family though.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Antagonist

    The team is cursed becoz of the satanic bronco statue at the DIA entrance.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • heavy1

      ..and the mural

      September 20, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • heavy1

      ...oh yeah, and the underground city of subteranean aliens

      September 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. wowee123

    This just shows that mental illness isn't just for us commoners. Fame and notoriety isn't a cure for depression. I feel for his son, but I do not think this man was a coward. He was ill; may he rest in peace.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • excellent

      Excellent post.

      September 20, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sympathetic

      Beautifully written wowee123. I think you summed up my thoughts and feelings better than I could have. My condolences to the family and friends.

      September 20, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Experienced One

    The saying remains true that money CANNOT buy anyone happiness. RIP Kenny. 😦

    September 20, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
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