Tootie Robbins played for the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals

By Jason Duaine Hahn
August 04, 2020 02:20 PM
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Tootie Robbins, a 12-year NFL veteran who played for the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals, died this weekend after contracting coronavirus, friends and family confirmed over social media.

The 62-year-old died Sunday evening, his niece, Lakeisha King, told USA Today.

"He contracted COVID and it in return took my uncle's life," King told the outlet of her uncle, James Elbert Robbins. "But he is in heaven with his mom and dad now."

"Thank you for remembering my uncle," she said. "He is definitely missed."

Luis Sharpe, one of Robbins' former teammates on the Cardinals in the 1980s, paid tribute to his friend on Facebook.

"My heart is heavy and saddened as I found out James 'Tootie' Robbins passed away today," he wrote, according to CardsWire. "Tootie and I broke into the NFL [together] as draft picks with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982. I send my heartfelt condolences and prayers for wife Shaneet and their son. Rest easy big fella until we meet again."

LeRoy Butler, a former Packers safety, tweeted about Robbins shortly after his death.

"My deepest condolences to my former teammate BIG TOOTIE ROBBINS FAMILY!! And friends," he wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "RIP BIG FELLA , MAY GOD BLESS YOU!!"

A collection of former NFL players have died after contracting COVID-19 since the virus began spreading around the country earlier this year. Former Denver Broncos player Orlando McDaniel died of complications from the virus in March, and Tom Dempsey, who played for the New Orleans Saints, died at age 73 in April.

Tony Boselli — who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995 to 2001 before retiring with the Houston Texans in 2002 — experienced symptoms of coronavirus in March and spoke out about his difficult recovery.

"The thing is, it’s real," Boselli told the Jaguars. "This is not a political debate. This isn’t if you’re on one side of the aisle or the other."

"Thankfully I recovered, but there was no guarantee," he added. "You’ve got to take it seriously, and the main message is: These healthcare experts and workers that are talking about this? They’re not making this up."

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As of Tuesday afternoon, the United States has seen more than 4.7 million cases and 155,935 deaths attributed to coronavirus, according to a New York Times database.

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