Kenny McKinley, a wide receiver for the Broncos and former South Carolina star, was found dead in Arapahoe County, Colo, the team confirmed Monday night.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told The Denver Post that it was "apparently a suicide," but an investigation is still under way. Robinson told reporters that the cause of death appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities were called to McKinley's apartment at about 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.
"Everyone with the Broncos is shocked and saddened by the loss of Kenny McKinley," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement on the team's official website. "He was part of the Broncos family and will be greatly missed by our organization. My most heartfelt condolences go out to Kenny's family and friends."
Denver drafted McKinley, 23, in the fifth round of the 2009 draft (No. 141 overall). He saw limited action in eight games last season before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. The Broncos again placed him on IR prior to the 2010 season.
"Kenny had a promising future on the football field, but more importantly, he was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room," Denver head coach Josh McDaniels said. "This is a tragic loss for our football team, and his family is in all of our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."