A former NFL linebacker has died at the age of 25, the team announced on Thursday, while the circumstances of his death — including when and how it happened — remain unclear.
The linebacker, Jessie Lemonier, played in seven games with the Detroit Lions during the 2021 season. He transferred to the Arizona Cardinals in May, but was released by that team before playing any games.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier,” the Lions tweeted in a statement. “Jessie was a model teammate and wonderful young man who is gone far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Before the Lions, Lemonier played six games with the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2020 season. In a tweet, the Chargers said: “gone too soon. our hearts are with jessie’s family, friends and loved ones,” adding a blue heart emoji.
Lemonier was recently traded to the Birmingham Stallions USFL team after signing with the Houston Gamblers, ESPN reported. Before that, he had been drafted by the Arlington Renegades XFL team.
Lemonier’s death comes less than a month after Buffalo Bills safety Demar Hamlin suffered a dramatic cardiac arrest during a game. He’s since been released from the hospital, but faces a lengthy rehabilitation with the cause of his cardiac arrest still unclear, the Daily Mail reported.
And two weeks ago, an offensive lineman for the Air Force Academy’s football team suddenly died after suffering a “medical emergency” on his way to class.
Outside the world of football, a college basketball player suddenly collapsed on the court this month, and a 20-year-old college tennis player died in his sleep.
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.