Former Air Force tight end Devin Durden died early Thursday in Georgia. He had suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident Sept. 26.
“Devin fought incredibly hard, but in the end, the injuries he sustained were so numerous and complex that he just could not survive,” a family member wrote on friendsofthedurdens.org.
Durden, 21, underwent surgery Sept. 27 to stabilize his spine, which had been severed in the accident. He was taken off a ventilator Sept. 30 and briefly spoke. He said, “Christian” and “let’s go home.”
On Tuesday, Durden’s condition worsened. He had air around his heart and pneumonia in his lungs. He died at 3:15 a.m. EDT Thursday, according to friendsofthedurdens.org.
Durden had been expected to contend for a starting position on this season’s Air Force team.
He caught one pass last season.
He was removed from the team in August for unspecified reasons. The Gwinnet Daily Post reported Durden had returned home after leaving the academy to enlist in active duty.
Durden played in 12 of the Falcons' 13 games last season.
Air Force senior receiver Drew Coleman wrote a tribute to Durden on Twitter. "Lost a brother last night. The rest of the season is for you."
Former Air Force safety Anthony Wooding, who was removed from the team in August, also wrote about Durden on Twitter. "So true that the good die young. Rest in paradise Double D."
"On behalf of the Air Force Academy Athletics Department and the entire Academy Family, we are deeply saddened by this tragic loss. Our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to the Durden family during this very difficult time," said Dr. Hans Mueh, Air Force athletics director.