Niners Lineman Thomas Herrion Dies
- By EDDIE PELLS, AP Sports Writer
Sunday, August 21, 2005
(08-21) 00:32 PDT DENVER (AP) --
An offensive lineman for the San Francisco ***** collapsed in the locker room and died Sunday morning, shortly after the team played the Denver Broncos in a preseason game.
Players had finished listening to coach Mike Nolan address them in a post-game meeting when Thomas Herrion, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound first-year player, collapsed. Medics administered CPR on him and took him to an ambulance that rushed him to a nearby hospital.
About three hours later, ***** spokesman Aaron Salkin confirmed that Herrion had died. The cause of death was not immediately known.
"This is a colossal tragedy for the ***** and the entire NFL community," Salkin said. "We still do not know all the details. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Herrion family."
The death comes a little more than four years after offensive lineman Korey Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings died of heatstroke during a training camp practice on a day during which the heat index soared to 110.
Since Stringer's death, NFL teams have increased their efforts to teach players about hydration and how to manage the heat, experimenting with sensors to measure players' core body temperatures.
On Saturday night in Denver, temperatures were in the mid-60s with 50 percent humidity, although experts say heatstroke can occur even in cool conditions.
After the game, Nolan said he had no comments about San Francisco's 26-21 loss to the Broncos.
"There are more important things on our mind than the game," he said. "Right now, our thoughts and prayers are with Thomas Herrion."
Stringer's death was thought to be the first of its kind in the NFL. In 1979, St. Louis Cardinals tight end J.V. Cain died of a heart attack during training camp. Chuck Hughes, a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, died of a heart attack Oct. 24, 1972, during a game in Detroit against the Chicago Bears.