Tarvaris Jackson, Former NFL Quarterback, Dies in Car Crash

Tarvaris Jackson, a former starting quarterback in the NFL who played for three teams, was killed on Sunday night in a one-vehicle car accident.

He was 36 years old.

Jackson was working as a coach at Tennessee State when, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the ex-player struck a tree in his Chevrolet Camaro around 8:50 p.m. yesterday.

Jackson was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The fatal crash occurred about seven miles south of Jackson’s hometown of Montgomery, Alabama.

The Alabama State University alum was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 and helped lead the team to the playoffs two years later.

He went on to serve as the backup for the Seattle Seahawks when they won the Super Bowl in 2013, and also played a year for the Buffalo Bills, although he never saw the field for that team.

Jackson left the league as a free agent in 2015 and later began a successful coaching career at his alma mater before joining the staff at Tennessee State University in 2019. 

He is survived by his wife, Lakitta, and three children, Tarvaris, Takayla and Tyson.

“My heart is so heavy with hurt hearing of the passing of Coach Jackson,” said Tennessee State director of athletics Teresa Phillips in a statement, adding of Jackson:

“We were blessed with him for a short time but he did make an impact with our young men in this one season at TSU.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his young family and all who knew and loved him.”

Several of Jackson’s former NFL teammates and coaches took to social media after hearing the news of his death.

tavaris tributes

Over the course of nine seasons as a professional, Jackson started 34 games and threw for more than 7,200 yards with 39 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.

The Vikings said in a statement Monday that Jackson was “taken from us too soon,” continuing as follows:

“One of Tarvaris’ greatest attributes was his positive outlook and approach.

“He genuinely cared about others, was a good friend and will be missed by family, teammates and Vikings fans everywhere. We send our deepest condolences to his family.”

Jackson ended his time in Minnesota as Brett Favre’s backup for the 2009-10 seasons.

In his own tribute, Favre remembered Jackson as “pure class.”

“My time with the Vikings was very special because the team embraced and welcomed me as one of their own.

“Tarvaris could have been anything but welcoming, but [instead he] was pure class and as good a teammate as any I’ve played with,” the Hall of Famer said in a statement.

“[I’m] proud to call him friend!! Such sad news.”


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