Defensive end of Hall of Fame Chris Doleman died Tuesday night after a long battle against brain cancer, the Vikings said in a statement. He was 58 years old.
Doleman, who played 15 seasons in the NFL, underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in January 2018 and has been battling glioblastoma since then. Glioblastoma is an aggressive cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord.
"The Minnesota Vikings express our deepest condolences to Chris Doleman's family and friends after his death," the team said in a statement. “Chris was a great example of the past and present of the players as he embodied the best qualities of a Viking – resilience, tenacity and competitive spirit. Chris always wore with dignity and class. Viking fans around the world will miss him very much. "
Doleman, who led the league with 21 bags in 1989, played 10 of his 15 seasons with Minnesota. He also played two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and three with the San Francisco 49ers.
"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the loss of Chris Doleman after a protracted and courageous battle against cancer," said Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker about the dominant defensive ending that marked 150.5 in his career Brought sacks together. “I had the honor of getting to know him not only as a great football player, but also as an outstanding person. One of the honors of my life was to see Chris christened in the Jordan during a Hall of Fame trip to Israel.
"Chris Doleman's legacy will live forever in Canton, Ohio, so that generations can learn from it how he lived a life with courage and character."
Doleman – who was elected to eight Pro Bowls and twice named First All-Pro team in 17 playoffs – never reached the Super Bowl. Doleman picked up at least seven sacks each season from 1987 to 1999.