Hall of Fame defensive end Fred Dean has died at the age of 68 from COVID-19, according to multiple reports.
Dean spent 11 years in the NFL after being selected in the second round of the 1975 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers out of Louisiana Tech. He spent parts of seven seasons with the Chargers before being traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 1981.
Dean had made two straight Pro Bowls with the Chargers and had been a first-team All-Pro in 1980 before being dealt to the 49ers in October, 1981. Despite the trade, Dean would make another Pro Bowl and be named first-team All-Pro again in 1981. Per the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Dean had 12 sacks in 11 games for the 49ers following the trade from San Diego.
Sacks did not become an official NFL statistic until the 1982 season. However, Dean would notch 17.5 sacks in 1983 in earning a fourth Pro Bowl selection. His six sacks against the New Orleans Saints that season set a record for most ever in a game at the time. Derrick Thomas currently holds the record with seven.
Dean would win a pair of Super Bowls with the 49ers in 1982 and 1985 before retiring. His unofficial sack count for his career is 93.
Dwight Hicks, a former teammate of Dean’s with the 49ers, revealed last week that Dean had been hospitalized due to the virus.