The Tragic Death Of NFL Receiver Chuck Hughes

NFL player Chuck Hughes was a legendary athlete. He was a receiver at Texas Western, now known as the University of Texas at El Paso. In 1965, during his second season, Hughes managed 13 touchdowns, reports the National Football League, and also achieved over 1,600 yards. When he went pro, he was the backup for the Philadelphia Eagles as well as the Detroit Lions, but didn't quite get his chance to shine.

As per a piece by Yahoo Sports, Hughes, despite being a non-conventional player in terms of speed and strength, succeeded against all odds because he was a smart player who was motivated to do a good job on the field. Unfortunately, Hughes' life was cut tragically short in 1971 during a game. He is the only NFL player in the history of the sport who passed away while playing the game for the Detroit Lions. As reported by The New York Times, Hughes lost consciousness during the game. Medics rushed to his aid and tried to revive him, but he never woke up.

He died after playing a game

Hughes was a replacement for Lions receiver Larry Walton during the game against the Bears. As the game neared its end, Hughes managed to catch a pass and played for a few rounds before making his way to the huddle. He collapsed on his way there. Bears linebacker Dick Butkus shouted for help from doctors stationed at the location. Neither mouth-to-mouth resuscitation nor a heart massage helped revive Hughes, who was then moved to a stretcher.

Players from Hughes's team teared up as they made their way to the dressing room, saying, "He's dead, he's dead." A doctor stated that it seemed likely that Hughes passed away because of a ruptured vessel in his brain or heart. His tragic passing was shrouded in mystery, and few remember Hughes and his death. The Times quoted one doctor on the scene who tried to help Hughes: "I've never seen anything like it in professional football."