Redskins players and coaches were saddened to hear of the death of San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Thomas Herrion following a preseason game at Denver on Saturday evening.
Herrion, a first-year player out of Utah, collapsed near his locker shortly after the game ended and was rushed to the hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward.
The cause of death was not immediately known. But Herrion's passing called to mind the death of former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer in 2001. Stringer died of a heatstroke following a practice in 90-degree weather.
Following practice on Monday, several Redskins offensive linemen reflected on the nature of the position they play and the importance of staying hydrated during warm or humid conditions.
"We feel for his family and the 49ers family," right tackle Jon Jansen said. "I don't know what the cause of death is. But generally, there's always concern when it's hot out. When it's not as hot and the humidity isn't as high, maybe you think less about drinking more water or taking care of your body because you don't feel like you're losing as much [fluids] when in reality you are.
"If that was the factor, then it's something we have to always keep in mind: we have to stay hydrated, we have to do all the things that we do even when it's not hot."
The Redskins' athletic training staff, led by director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer, have instructed the players on proper hydration during practices and games.
Said Patrick Ramsey: "We've been well-schooled in how to hydrate and how to take care of our bodies when we're working out during training camp. You never know, though. It's hard to prepare for anything like that."
Head coach Joe Gibbs commented on the Herrion death after practice.
"Our heart goes out," Gibbs said. "When something like that happens, you just imagine if it were one of your guys. Football is like a family and you are all working together. You go through the good and the bad--and then something like this happens. It just kind of devastates everybody. It's a huge loss for everybody."