Jim Harbaugh: 'Saddened that I was not there for Junior'

As the NFL attempts to come to grips with the death of future Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau by suicide on Wednesday, a lot of people are struggling with the tragedy.

Count San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh as one of those men. Harbaugh played against Seau and then with him when they were teammates on the San Diego Chargers. Harbaugh released a touching statement through the 49ers:

“I, along with the entire NFL family, the San Diego community and those who shared a life with Junior, grieve the loss of the ultimate teammate and friend. I am saddened that I was not there for Junior as he had always been for his teammates and friends.

“The qualities I most respected in Junior were the caring and respect he showed to all those with whom he came in contact. One of my fondest remembrances as a professional football player was looking across the locker room after playing my last career game with the Chargers and knowing that I had shared that moment with one of the greatest teammates and competitors the game has ever known. The moment moved me to get off my stool, approach Junior and ask him to trade jerseys. It's the only time I had done that in my career.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Junior's family.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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