Chicago Bears' defensive end Gaines Adams, the 4th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft and the 2006 ACC Defensive Player of the Year at Clemson, died on Sunday shortly after going into cardiac arrest. Adams was only 26 years old. On October 19th, 2009, the Bears traded a 2nd round pick in the upcoming 2010 NFL draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the promising player. It was hoped that a reunion with former Buccaneers and current Bears defensive line coach Rod Marrinelli would help Adams return to his 2007-2008 form when he recorded a total of 12.5 sacks.
Now the Adams family must cope with the void left by Gaines. In a less important but certainly relevant way, the Chicago Bears must now cope with the vacuum created at defensive end with the untimely passing of Adams. With the return of free agent DE Adewale Ogunleye unlikely, the Bears hoped that Adams would compete with Mark Anderson, Alex Brown, and rookie Jarron Gilbert for one of the two defensive end positions. With heavy contractual obligations and without the benefit of a 1st and 2nd round pick in this year's draft, it will be difficult for the Bears to address all of their gaping offensive and defensive needs now made more expansive by the sudden death of Adams.
Preliminary medical examiners reports on Gaines Adams shows that the 2006 1st Team - All-American died of cardiac arrest stemming from an enlarged. Enlarged hearts are common in professional athletes and generally physically active people. The left ventricular heart valve is the heart muscle responsible for pumping blood into and out of the heart. Like any other muscle in the body, the left ventricular valve gets bigger as the heart's demand for blood increases. However, an increase in heart valve size can disrupt the natural electromagnetic field that governs the heart's rhythm. Althletes and physically active people should be aware of the symptoms of abnormal heart functioning such as shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness and tingling in the extremities. One should also pay special attention to these symptoms if there is a family history of heart conditions. Due to the passive nature of the symptoms of abnormal heart functioning, most cases go undiagnosed, especially in women.
People engaged in strenuous physical activities such as power lifting or running should monitor their heart health with periodic check-ups and stress tests.