According to multiple reports on Tuesday, George Atkinson III, the former NFL running back, died at the age of 27. The cause of his death was not immediately known. He was the son of former Raiders safety George Atkinson II.
In 2014, Atkinson was signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame. He played five games with the Raiders as a kickoff returner. He also played for the Browns in 2016.
On Tuesday, Notre Dame took to twitter to send their condolences and offered thoughts and prayers to the Atkinson family and their friends.
Pete Sampson of The Athletic tweeted that Atkinson was dealing with depression after the death of his twin brother, Josh, less than a year ago. Although the cause of Josh’s death was not made public, Atkinson wrote in an open letter on TheUnsealed.com, that Josh had committed suicide.
At that time, Atkinson wrote that Josh had felt guilty over the death of their mother, Michelle, in October 2018, who had paranoid schizophrenia and died suddenly from complications of Crohn’s disease.
Atkinson wrote, “That’s the moment I felt like I lost everything. That’s the moment I can’t describe. I never want you to feel his pain or my pain.”
He mentioned that he was “on an emotional roller coaster and in a real dark place” and was “forced into the same institution my mom was once in because I, too, tried to harm myself.” Atkinson, who was dealing with depression, wrote he was inspired by his 2-year-old daughter and had started to see a therapist. He wrote, “Like you, I am still struggling. My mother’s birthday just passed and I know the holidays this year won’t be easy. But I am trying to take life one day at a time.”