Andy Reid released a statement on behalf of his family Monday evening.
The wording strongly suggests that Garrett Reid’s death was drug-related.
“Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one,” the statement read. “He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart.”
No official cause of death has been given. Contacted on Monday, the Lehigh University police department said it was waiting for the Northampton County Coroner to complete its investigation before releasing a joint statement.
In November 2007, Garrett Reid was sentenced to jail after hitting another motorist’s car while high on heroin. Authorities found syringes with heroin and testosterone in his vehicle.
“I don’t want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD’d and just faded into oblivion,” he said in court.
Andy Reid took a six-week leave of absence in 2007 to deal with his family’s troubles.
“With kids in their 20s, they think they’ve got it, but it’s like fighting a grizzly bear,” Andy Reid told Philadelphia Magazine during a 2008 interview. “It’s a tough struggle.”
During Garrett Reid’s first stint in prison, authorities found 89 prescription drug pills in his jail cell.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Garrett Reid failed a pair of drug tests in August 2007 and missed another, causing him to go back to jail.
Garrett Reid was spending the summer at Eagles training camp, working with the team’s strength and conditioning department. Offensive lineman Todd Herremans said today he had talked to Garrett Reid about his troubled past.
“We talked about it on a personal level, man to man about what he had been through,” said Herremans. “He had been through a lot. It’s just sad – everything that just happened is just sad.”
Herremans was asked if he would be surprised if the cause of death was drug-related.
“I think so, yeah,” he said. “It just seemed like everything was going the right way for him. Yeah, that would be surprising.”
Added linebacker Casey Matthews: “I’d be shocked to hear it was something like that.”
Here is Reid’s statement in full:
On behalf of Tammy and our family, I would like to thank everybody for their tremendous support, love, kind words and prayers during this time of great sadness. Words cannot express our sense of loss.
We loved Garrett so much. He was a wonderful son and brother. He made us laugh, he was a pleasure to be around, he always had a smile on his face, and we will miss him dearly. We will never forget him, and we will remember him with love.
Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart.
I spoke with the team yesterday and thanked them for their thoughts and prayers. I asked them to continue with their preparations for the upcoming season until I am ready to rejoin the team.
It is in times like these that we lean on our faith, our family, our friends, and our Eagles family. We will do so in the difficult times ahead.
Thank you again for your continued support.