Former Dallas Cowboys running back Lincoln Coleman has been reported missing for the second time in less than a year. Coleman, 48, was listed as a "critical missing person" in a bulletin released by the Dallas Police Department on Monday night. Police updated the bulletin on Tuesday morning, saying Coleman "has been located and is safe." The original bulletin reported that Coleman "has diminished mental capacity" and had not been seen since Friday.
Coleman showed up at his mother's house at around 3 am Tuesday. His mother says his legs were swollen from walking for three days and he had been sleeping in his SUV a few blocks from her home. "He can't tell you where he's been walking," Waynita Coleman, 67, said. "He's just been walking. But he's here."
This is not the first time Coleman has gone missing. In May 2017 the former Cowboy's family reported him missing when they hadn't heard from him in eight days. Coleman's family said that he suffered from dementia as a result of eight concussions during his NFL and arena football career. Coleman played 18 games in the NFL over two seasons with the Cowboys. He won a Super Bowl in 1994 against the Buffalo Bills.
Coleman later signed with the Atlanta Falcons but never played a game for them and was cut in 1996. Prior to the 1994 season, Coleman had played for two teams in the Arena League. He told the Dallas Morning News that in 1993, he was working for $10 an hour at a Home Depot in Richardson, Texas.
This news comes a week after Emily Kelly, wife of former Saints and Patriots DB Rob Kelly, penned a personal essay in the New York Times about the effect of multiple concussions on her husband's behaviour. "Often he would forget to eat," wrote Mrs. Kelly. "I’d find full bowls of cereal forgotten around the house, on bookshelves or the fireplace mantel." She also documents his weight loss, bouts with depression, paranoia, and agitated behaviour. "He no longer felt comfortable driving, refused to leave the house and cut off contact with everyone." Mrs. Kelly concludes that playing football "destroyed his mind."
"He liked to hit with his head, because that's what they taught him," said Coleman's mother. "Some days he's just ... missing. Not literally, not like now. He's just not there." The Alzheimer's Association cites studies showing adults with a history of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury have a 2 to 4 times greater risk of developing dementia than people with no history of head injury. Last year Coleman was staying at a Dallas homeless shelter when he saw himself reported missing on the news.