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Former Chargers DE Leroy Jones dies at 70

Jones was a key member of “The Bruise Brothers” during the late 1970’s.

Seattle Seahawks v San Diego Chargers Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

It’s with a heavy heart that I report the passing of former Chargers defensive end Leroy Jones. The new was reported by the Chargers’ social media team. He was 70 years old.

Jones was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and played collegiately at Norfolk State University. While at NSU, Jones played both football and basketball. On the hardwood, he was named a First-Team All-State selection by the Associated Press as a sophomore and then a Second-Team pick the following year as a junior.

On the gridiron, Jones was named an All-CIAA pick at defensive end every year that he played. After leaving school prior to the 1973 season, he signed a three-year contract to play professionally with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.

After two seasons in the CFL, Jones became eligible for the NFL draft and subsequently saw his named called in the second-round of the 1975 draft by the Los Angeles Rams. A year later, the San Diego Chargers acquired him for a future draft pick.

During the 1980 season, Jones paired with All-Pros Fred Dean, Gary “Big Hands” Johnson, and Louie Kelcher to lead the NFL with 60 sacks on the year. The quartet earned the nickname “The Bruise Brothers”. That year, Jones had 11 sacks which were good for second on the team behind Johnson’s 17.5. He subsequently earned his first nod as an alternate in that year’s Pro Bowl.

The 6’8 Jones was also a part of three-straight AFC West crowns from 1979-1981. His one shining moment in the NFL may have been his blocked kick against the Dolphins in overtime of the Epic in Miami that led to the Chargers’ game-winning field goal.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jones’ family and friends at this time.