49ers await info on Thomas Herrion's tragic death

As of noon PST Sunday, officials in Denver still had not released information regarding the cause of the tragic death late Saturday of first-year 49ers offensive lineman Thomas Herrion.

Niners coach Mike Nolan has scheduled a news conference outside 49ers headquarters later this afternoon to discuss the circumstances surrounding the passing of the 23-year-old veteran who has been with the 49ers since joining their practice squad in October of last year.

Herrion collapsed in the 49ers locker room after Nolan had delivered a post-game speech to his team following San Francisco's 26-21 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos. Medics administered CPR on Herrion in the locker room before he was taken by ambulance to a Denver hospital.

Herrion, who was running third on the team's depth chart at left guard behind Justin Smiley and Scott Peters, was on the field for the 49ers' 14-play, 91-yard drive that culminated with quarterback Cody Pickett's 23-yard touchdown run with two seconds remaining in the game.

Herrion walked off the field and into the locker room afterward without any apparent problems before collapsing.

Herrion was team captain at the University of Utah as a senior in 2003 before joining the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent last year. He made it to the final cut with the Cowboys last summer, then spent two weeks on the team's practice squad before being released again.

He was given a workout by the 49ers on October 2, and was promptly signed two days later to the team's practice squad, where he remained the final 12 games of the season. Herrion was re-signed by the team January 3 and spent the 2005 NFL Europe season playing for the Hamburg Sea Devils, where he started all 10 games along the offensive line.

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