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Former Bengals DB Rickey Dixon dies at 53

Super Bowl XXIII - Cincinnati Bengals v San Francico 49ers

MIAMI, FL- JANUARY 22: Jerry Rice #80 of the San Francisco 49ers gets tackled by Rickey Dixon #29 of the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl XXIII on January 22, 1989 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida. The 49ers won the Super Bowl 20-16. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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Former Bengals defensive back Rickey Dixon died Saturday, seven years after beginning his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dixon was 53.

The University of Oklahoma, where Dixon earned All-America honors and won the Thorpe Award, announced Dixon’s passing.

“Ever since he left OU, Rickey has been regarded as one of the finest football players in school history,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a release. “His enshrinement last year into the College Football Hall of Fame is certainly validation of that. As much as any of his accomplishments on the field, however, he should be remembered for his extreme courage and spirit of perseverance.”

The Bengals drafted Dixon fifth overall in 1985.

He played in the league for six seasons with the Bengals and Raiders. Dixon was with the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII when they lost to the 49ers.

Dixon played 82 games, with 32 starts, and made six career interceptions.