Former Player With CTE Symptoms Dies at 49

Greg Clark's quarterback, Steve Young, calls the loss devastating
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2021 12:40 PM CDT
Former Player With CTE Symptoms Dies at 49
San Francisco 49ers tight end Greg Clark, left, waits for a pass that was intercepted by the Atlanta Falcons' Ray Buchanan in 1998.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Greg Clark, who played four seasons at a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers—capped by catching two touchdown passes from Steve Young in a 1998 wild-card victory—has died. He was 49. His family released a statement saying his death was unexpected, People reports, though it says he had symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which can be caused by head trauma. "His recent suffering from CTE symptoms cannot extinguish the breadth and depth of his impact on us and others," the statement said, "and we are forever grateful for the time we have had with him." Clark began a thriving career in real estate after injuries ended his NFL career. "Greg was a dedicated family man who was successful at everything he did," his family said.

After playing for Stanford, Clark was picked in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft. Mostly thought of as a blocker, Clark caught 92 passes for 909 yards and four touchdowns in 55 games, per CBS Sports. His two touchdown receptions in the wild card game came in the 49ers' 30-27 victory over the Green Bay Packers, per Yahoo Sports. "I just feel terrible about the suffering he must have felt," Young said, adding, "He was tough. ... And he's gone way too early. It's just devastating." The 49ers also expressed condolences in a statement. "It is our hope that through further research we can gain more knowledge surrounding CTE," Clark's family said. (More obituary stories.)

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