Ex-Bengals QB Greg Cook dead at age 65

Former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Greg Cook, whose NFL career was cut short by injury, died Thursday at age 65.

Cook was the Bengals' first-round pick out of the University of Cincinnati and immediately became a star in the league, completing 106 of 197 passes and drew praise for his strong arm. However, a shoulder injury suffered in his rookie season of 1969 cut short his career and required several surgeries. It was the type of injury that had it occurred now probably could have been fixed with one surgery, but the medical profession was not as advance in such surgeries then. After his rookie year, Cook appeared in just one more game in 1973 before retiring in 1974.

“Greg was the single most talented player we’ve ever had with the Bengals,” said Bengals president Mike Brown in a statement. “His career was tragically short due to the injury. Had he been able to stay healthy, I believe he would have been the player of his era in the NFL. Greg was a personal friend to me. He was a good person whose company I enjoyed over all his years as a player and after that. I feel a great loss at his passing.”

Cook died of pneumonia, but had had health problems in recent years.

Mike Brown's father Paul Brown drafted Cook from nearby University of Cincinnati and said upon selecting him in the first round, “We believe this young man is the best quarterback prospect in the country.”

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

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