Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley had a gambling problem and was deep in debt when he committed suicide on Sept. 21, friends and family told authorities during a probe into his death.
McKinley committed suicide with a gun he had purchased months before from teammate Jabar Gaffney, who told investigators McKinley wanted the weapon for his own protection, according to an investigative report by the Arapahoe (Colo.) County Sheriff’s Department that was obtained by The Associated Press. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said there was nothing inappropriate about the sale of the gun.
Detectives also determined that McKinley had spoken about suicide with at least three of his friends, including ex-Broncos backup quarterback Tom Brandstater. Brandstater told investigators he had lent McKinley $65,000 and that McKinley owed $40,000 in casino markers in Las Vegas.
McKinley, 23, suffered a season-ending left knee injury during the first week of Broncos training camp. He underwent an operation several weeks before he shot himself in the left temple at his rental home near the Broncos’ practice facility.
The 131-page report, which states the investigation has closed, quoted witnesses as saying McKinley was depressed over his second knee surgery in eight months and was worried about how he would care for his toddler son when his football career was over.
Days before his death, McKinley had been ordered to pay $3,000 a month in child support by a South Carolina court. He had told friends he was being threatened with a paternity suit by another woman who said she was pregnant with his baby, according to the sheriff’s report.
ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson said he expects Jon Gruden to stay in broadcasting and not return to coaching. The “Monday Night Football” analyst has been linked to the opening at Miami U.
Williamson said, “My feeling is Jon is in Year 2 of a long-term contract, and we expect Jon to be on ‘Monday Night Football’ doing what he’s been doing for a long time to come.”
Buffalo linebacker Reggie Torbor has an injured shoulder that will keep him sidelined indefinitely. Brandon Marshall rejoined the Dolphins’ practice in a limited role after being sidelined for two weeks by a right hamstring injury. Panthers safety Sherrod Martin was fined $40,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Evan Moore in Sunday’s loss to Cleveland. Drew Stanton will start at quarterback for Detroit against Chicago on Sunday.
HOUSTON (5-6) AT PHILADELPHIA (7-4)
Time: 5:20 p.m.
TV: NFL Network. Radio: 950-AM.
Line: Eagles by 8
Synopsis: Houston caught a major break Monday when Andre Johnson, arguably the NFL’s best receiver, was not suspended for his role in a fight on Sunday. And although the Texans’ once-potent aerial attack now ranks just 15th, it faces an Eagles pass defense that has been injury-riddled and allowed Chicago’s Jay Cutler to throw 4 TD passes last week. But the key here is that Philly’s offense (No. 2 in yards and scoring) should feast on Houston’s woeful defense. The Texans rank 31st vs. the pass and 26th in points allowed (26.1 a game).
Bottom line: Remember what happened the last time Eagles QB Michael Vick faced a defense this bad? He threw for four TDs and ran for two in a 59-28 win over Washington.
The pick: Eagles, 36-24
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