The Cincinnati Bengals held a moment of silence for former running back Cedric Benson prior to their preseason home game against the New York Giants.
The 36-year-old Benson died Aug. 17 after a minivan struck his motorcycle while crossing an Austin, Texas, intersection. He and 27-year-old Aamna Najam, who was Benson's passenger, were pronounced dead at the scene, per Peter Sblendorio of the New York Daily News.
The Chicago Bears drafted the University of Texas star fourth overall in 2005. After three seasons, the running back headed to Cincinnati, where he broke out with three 1,000-yard campaigns from 2009-2011.
During that stretch, Benson amassed 3,800 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns. With the ex-Longhorn helping drive the offense, Cincinnati made the playoffs in 2009 and 2011.
Benson was one of the collegiate game's best running backs of the 2000s, rushing for 1,000 or more yards in each of his four seasons in school. He also finished sixth in the 2004 Heisman Trophy voting.
By the time his career was over, Benson had 6,161 scrimmage yards and 67 touchdowns in 49 games.
Off the field, Benson established the NUFCED foundation, whose stated mission is to "[use] encouragement and inspiration with underprivileged youth, motivating them to work hard and overcome obstacles in their lives, make positive choices, work hard and be their best."
Benson is survived by his mother, two brothers and daughter among many family members.