O.J. Murdock, a wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans who failed to report to training camp last week, died of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. He was 25.
Tampa, Florida, police officers discovered Murdock’s body in his car outside Middleton High School at around 8:30 a.m. local time today, according to the City of Tampa’s website. Murdock, who graduated from the school in 2005, was transported to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition and died at 10:43 a.m.
Murdock was signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent in July 2011. He spent last season on injured reserve after injuring his right Achilles tendon early in training camp.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear of O.J. Murdock’s death this morning,” the Titans said in an e-mailed statement. “In his brief time here, a number of our players, coaches and staff had grown close to O.J., and this is a difficult time for them. He spent the last year battling back from an Achilles injury as he prepared for this year’s training camp. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they try to cope with this tragedy.”
Orenthal James Murdock was born on Feb. 15, 1987. He spent two seasons at Fort Hays State University after beginning his college career at the University of South Carolina and then Pearl River Community College. At Fort Hays State, he had 95 catches for 1,987 yards and 20 touchdowns in 21 games.
Murdock had been recovering from the Achilles injury and was excused from July 28 practice for “personal reasons,” CBS Sports said, citing Titans coach Mike Munchak. Murdock was listed on the team’s Reserve/Did Not Report list.