Denver Broncos Kenny Mckinley

September 21, 2010 by staff 

Denver Broncos Kenny Mckinley, Kenny McKinley, a Broncos wide receiver and former star of South Carolina, was found dead in Arapahoe County, Colorado, the team confirmed Monday night.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told The Denver Post he was “apparently a suicide, but an investigation is still ongoing. Robinson told reporters that the cause of death appeared to be self-inflicted gunshot wound. The authorities were called McKinley department about 3:30 pm Monday.

“Everyone with the Broncos are shocked and saddened by the loss of Kenny McKinley,” said Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement on the official team website. “He was part of the family of the Broncos and will be greatly missed by our organization. My deepest condolences to Kenny’s family and friends.”

Denver drafted McKinley, 23, a fifth-round pick in 2009 (No. 141 overall). He saw limited action in eight matches last season before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. The Broncos again put him on IR before the 2010 season.

“Kenny had a promising future in the football field, but more importantly, it was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room,” said Denver head coach Josh McDaniels. “This is a tragic loss for our soccer team, and his family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Fox 31 in Denver for the first time the tragic news.

The Denver Post Lindsay Jones tweeted McKinley visited the family in Atlanta last week, and then returned to Denver on Sunday with his young son.

McKinley is the third Broncos player to disappear in the last four years. On January 1, 2007, cornerback Darrent Williams died after being shot in downtown Denver. A month later, running back Damien Nash collapsed and died while playing a basketball game collection.

“It’s a difficult situation, moving from being a superstar in college and his career has been a challenge,” Agent McKinley said Andrew Bondarowicz The Denver Post. “These guys, they are made of steel on the outside, but for many, the challenge of being at their best and live up to all expectations is a difficult situation. Some people are better prepared and have the support system .

In four years in South Carolina, McKinley caught 207 passes and 19 touchdowns. His best season came in 2007 when he was named to the All-SEC team with 77 receptions 968 yards and nine touchdowns.

“Kenny was definitely one of my favorite players of all time,” said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier after practice Monday. “Wonderful guy. It is difficult to understand how or why this happened.”

McKinley had gone to the house Gameccks game “against Georgia Sept. 11, a 17-6 win in South Carolina.

“I saw here. He came to play Georgia. He seemed in good spirits,” Spurrier said, according to The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. “I had a big smile, as if they always had.

“I do not understand, if it happened as they say. It is difficult to understand.”

The Broncos hold a full team meeting on Tuesday, according to the Denver Post, with grief counselors for the players and staff.

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