Little over two weeks ago, Buffalo Bills‘ tight end Dawson Knox‘s little brother, Luke Knox, died suddenly at age 22. While a cause of death has not been revealed, Luke was found unresponsive in his dorm room at Florida International University on August 17. Police said there were no signs of foul play.
Knox was excused from the team to mourn with his family and was inactive during the Bills’ second preseason game against the Denver Broncos in order to attend Luke’s funeral service. While quarterback Josh Allen said on behalf of the team that they would give their TE1 all the time he needs, Knox returned to practice after five days.
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On September 3, the 26-year-old tight end posted his first Instagram post since Luke’s death. Knox shared a throwback photo of him and his brother with the following caption:
“There’s no words to describe these last few weeks. All I know is that I am beyond grateful for the outpouring of love and support for my family. Luke is not lost, because we know exactly where he is. God’s got him, and I know I’ll be seeing him again one day. Luke’s legacy will continue [to] live on through all the lives he’s impacted in incredible ways. This isn’t a goodbye, it’s just a see you later. I love you Luke.”
Knox closed out the tribute with a quote from 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18, and the comments section quickly filled with supportive messages from fans, media, friends, and teammates. Backup quarterback Matt Barkley wrote, “Amen. Love you brother,” while special teams captain Taiwan Jones added, “Love you bro.” Wide receiver Stefon Diggs simply left a ♥️ emoji, as did former Bills backup quarterback, Mitch Trubisky.
Bills Mafia Donated Over $188,000 to Charity in Honor of Knox’s Brother
On August 19, Knox broke his silence to send a personal thank you to Bills Mafia. He tweeted, “Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support for my family. Our hearts are broken but we know Luke is in a much better place now with his savior Jesus.”
While the Bills took on the Broncos the following day, Allen was asked about Knox, and he sent a heartfelt message to his teammate. “We know the situation. Our hearts go out to him and his family. Condolences have obviously been sent. You hate to see your family and teammates hurting like that. You share the hurt,” Allen said.
“I know Bills Mafia has donated quite a bit of money already to the P.U.N.T. Foundation which is near and dear to Dawson’s heart… which again, is just another act of how sincere Bill Mafia cares about us.”
Over $188,000 was raised for the P.U.N.T Pediatric Cancer Collaborative in honor of the Knox family, as Bills fans donated money in increments of $16, to honor Luke’s jersey number, or $16.88, for both brothers.
“But again, there’s not much you can say except to just be there them,” Allen continued, noting that he doesn’t have a timetable for Knox’s return. “Don’t know when he’s coming back. But ya know, my heart, and I can speak for all of our team, our heart hurts with him and for him and we’ll be there for him.”
Before kickoff on Saturday, the Bills took a moment of silence in Orchard Park to honor Luke’s life. Linebacker Tyrel Dodson showed his support by showing up to Highmark Stadium wearing a shirt that read, “LONG LIVE LUKE.”
Luke Played Linebacker & Tight End at College
Luke appeared to be following in his big brother’s footsteps, starting out his college football career at Ole Miss in 2018. A business major, he earned an Athletic Director’s Honor Roll distinction in 2020 and played linebacker before switching to tight end in 2021, per Bleacher Report. Luke transferred to Florida International ahead of the 2022 college football season.
Originally from Brentwood, Tennessee, Luke, mostly played special teams during his time at Ole Miss, Knox’s alma mater, where he appeared in 23 games and recorded 11 tackles, one fumble recovered, and two passes deflected in four seasons.
Luke recently transferred to FIU where he was preparing for the season opener on September 1 against Bryant University. FIU Football coach Mike MacIntyre told 7 News Miami ahead of the team’s first game that they would make sure Luke’s life would be remembered.
“We’re putting a sticker on our helmet, the number 16 [and] Knox with his dates, and then also, we’re going to have a moment of silence at the game, and when the captains come out, they’re going to bring his jersey out,” MacIntyre said. The FIU Panthers went on to beat the Bryant Bulldog 38-37 in Week 1.
Luke’s final Instagram post before his death was shared on July 5, where expressed how happy he was to be playing football FIU. He shared a series of photos from Miami and wrote, “Live in Miami andddd play some ball?! Yaa we’ll take that. Thank you Lord for blessing me. You always know what’s best! Month one down in Miami. (Pretty much fluent in Spanish now).”
Knox’s little brother was also his biggest fan. After Knox got drafted by the Bills in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, he wrote on Instagram, “One of the proudest moments in the life of a younger brother. So dang proud of you bro. Time to go get what’s yours!! Love you 🙏 #BILLSMAFIA.”
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