SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Medical authorities conducted an autopsy on Thursday on the body of Junior Seau, a day after the former star San Diego Chargers linebacker died of an apparent suicide in his beach front California home, a coroner’s official said.
Results from the autopsy, which will include a routine examination of his brain, were expected to be released later in the day, San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office spokeswoman Sarah Gordon said.
Seau’s girlfriend found him on Wednesday unconscious in a bedroom of his home with a gunshot wound to the chest. His death, which is being investigated as a suicide, comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the effects of head injuries in football and the potential for long-term damage to players.
Over 1,500 other former players have sued the NFL over head injuries, and on Thursday another 100 retired players filed a lawsuit against the league on the same grounds in federal court in Atlanta.
During his 20-year National Football League career, Seau, 43, was not widely known to have suffered from concussions. The autopsy being conducted is limited to looking for manner and cause of death, but an examination of the brain will be included as it is routine, Gordon said.
“If the family makes requests for outside research, we will participate, with family consent,” she said. At this point, the family has not made any such request, she said.
Seau retired after the 2009 season with the New England Patriots after spending most of his career with the Chargers.
Reporting by Joseph Schuman; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Philip Barbara