NFL great Fred Dean has died from coronavirus. He was 68 years old.
Dean was drafted in 1975 by the San Diego Chargers, with whom he spent the first six and a half years of his career. The defensive end was traded to the San Francisco 49ers during the 1981 season, joining the eventual Super Bowl champions.
Dean won another Super Bowl with San Francisco in 1984 before retiring after the 1985 season. Dean is a member of both the Chargers and 49ers Hall of Fame.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Fred Dean,” Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a statement. “He exemplified many of the values learned from this great game — commitment, integrity, courage — over the course of his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fred’s wife, Pam, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Fred’s memory.”
Fred Dean has died at 68, from coronavirus.
The 49ers acquired him from San Diego in 1981 and won the Super Bowl (and another in 1984).
The Hall of Famer was known to enjoy a cigarette before he played a hellacious game or endured a long training camp practice in Rocklin. pic.twitter.com/Bwn68ZlvNJ
A two-time First-Team All-Pro selection, Dean made the Pro Bowl four times. Dean officially had a career-high 17.5 sacks in 1983, a year after the NFL began recording sacks as an official stat.
Dean set a then-record with six sacks in one game, though that record was eventually broken.
One week ago, former 49ers’ player Dwight Hicks said on Facebook that Dean was hospitalized with the coronavirus and was placed on a ventilator.
Dean isn’t the first former Pro Bowl player to die from the coronavirus. Tom Dempsey, who was a kicker in the NFL for a decade, died after testing positive for COVID-19 at 73 years old in April.