Detroit Lions receivers coach Shawn Jefferson believes the spate of suicides of former NFLers stems from an alienation that sets in after retirement.
"It's not the depression that kills you," Jefferson, who was a teammate of the late Junior Seau, told the Sports Xchange. "It's trying to make that transition to real life without that support group you've had in place your whole career.
"The depression is a result of not being around your guys anymore, that's what kills you.
"The depression comes about because you don't have that structure anymore. You aren't walking into that locker room and chatting with your locker mates. You're not in that fire on Sunday with those guys. You are at the door knocking, but nobody will let you in. You don't have that sense of purpose. For guys who retire, there is a dark side to that transition period."
Jefferson, 43, who played 13 seasons in the NFL, said the league needs to put a plan in place to keep retired players occupied with the game.
"You don't know how much good it could've done if Junior Seau could have stayed around the game," Jefferson said. "If he would have come to my practice on a Monday, I would have told him I have a team meeting on Friday and he had 15 minutes to tell the team anything he wanted. He would have felt important. He would have been on that stage again and everybody would have been in tune with him.
"The NFL doesn't get it. They are looking in the wrong places."
Mother Nature has taken away that one great asset that she gave you and changed your life. That triggers the depression. The blows to the head don't. It takes something to trigger it. I know. I have been through it."
The younger brother of all-pro tight end Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins defensive back Vontae Davis has been charged with murder in Washington, D.C.
Washington police said that 19-year-old Michael Davis was charged Wednesday with first-degree murger while armed in connection with the death of Gary Dederichs, a 66-year-old Colorado man visiting the U.S. capital. Davis, who was previously arrested for two assaults, was taken into custody April 26.
Davis is expected to be in court Friday for a hearing regarding his initial charges.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson proved he's ahead of schedule, 19 weeks after major knee surgery.
Peterson, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee during a game Christmas Eve, ran some drills Thursday during a 15-minute workout for media at the team's indoor practice.
Peterson aims to be ready for the season opener Sept. 9 but is being careful not to overdo his rehab.
"You have to pull back on the reins every once in a while and just remind him," trainer Eric Sugarman said. "But he's been pretty good about it and I'm on the record as saying that he'll continue."
SERVICE FRIDAY FOR SEAU
Former San Diego Chargers Dan Fouts, Rodney Harrison and LaDainian Tomlinson are expected to speak at a memorial service Friday for Junior Seau at Qualcomm Stadium.
Seau committed suicide May 2. He spent 20 seasons in the NFL, the first 13 with the Chargers. Harrison and Tomlinson were teammates of his in San Diego.
A plan for a new stadium for the Vikings was passed Thursday by the Minnesota senate by a vote of 36-30. The state will fund $348 million of the $975-million project. The city of Minnesota will pay $150 million, with the Vikings owners paying the rest ... Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, in an interview with Sports Illustrated, said he sold his sports memorabilia at Ohio State for money to help his family. Pryor, who was suspended Dec. 23, 2010 for five games by the NCAA for selling memorabilia, said his mother had lost her job and was four months behind in rent ... Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers will have surgery Friday to repair a torn Achilles tendon, the team announced Thursday. The injury happened while Bowers was taking part in the team's off-season program ... Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was charged with drunk driving, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Heyward-Bey was arrested April 7 by the California Highway Patrol after failing a field sobriety test. He will be in court May 31 ... NBC Sports is reporting that former Buffalo Bills cornerback Drayton Florence has agreed to a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the Denver Broncos. Florence was released by the Bills last week ... Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor, the team's first-round pick in 2011 who started all 16 games last season, will have an MRI to determine if he tore a pectoral muscle while working out. If the muscle is torn, Taylor could miss a chunk of the 2012 season.