(AP) - For the third time in four years, the Denver Broncos are dealing with the death of a teammate.
Wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead in his home Monday in an apparent suicide.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said authorities were called to McKinley's home in Centennial at local time and found McKinley's body in the second-floor master bedroom. He said detectives believe McKinley, 23, was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Robinson said authorities were called by a female friend of McKinley's who discovered the body after returning from an errand with his child. The sheriff declined to say if authorities found a suicide note.
"It's still part of our investigation and probably nothing we'll talk about right now," he said.
McKinley was on injured reserve after hurting his left knee in August for the second time in eight months. He was known for his infectious smile and good sense of humor.
His death is the latest in a series of tragedies for the Broncos in recent years. Cornerback Darrent Williams was slain in a drive-by shooting on New Year's Day 2007, and three months later backup running back Damien Nash collapsed and died after a charity basketball game in
McKinley was a fifth-round draft choice out of
"Had a wonderful smile just like he always did," Spurrier remembered.
The news of McKinley's death spread quickly at the end of
"Kenny was certainly one of my all-time favorite players. It's hard to figure out why it happened like this," Spurrier said.
Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said in a statement: "Kenny had a promising future on the football field, but more importantly, he was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room. This is a tragic loss for our football team, and his family is in all of our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
McDaniels planned to meet with the media on Tuesday, the players' day off. They'll reconvene Wednesday to resume preparations for their game against
McKinley was a second-year pro who played in eight games as a rookie in 2009 with seven kick returns for 158 yards before going on injured reserve with a left knee injury on Dec. 29, two days after he was hurt in a game at
He recovered and participated in the team's offseason workouts but got hurt again during the first week of training camp and was placed on IR on Aug. 5.
Several Broncos players were attending a fundraiser Monday night in honor of Williams but declined to comment on McKinley's death.
Cornerback Champ Bailey and former NFL star John Lynch headlined the wine-tasting
The Broncos hustled out of their
Several said as they left the event that they weren't ready to talk about McKinley's death.
At McKinley's home in a subdivision in the southern
AP Sports Writers Pete Iacobelli in