Geno Hayes, a former NFL linebacker, has entered hospice care, according to multiple reports. Hayes is just 33.
The Greenville, Florida native has reportedly returned to his parents house in Valdosta, Georgia and is under hospice care for liver complications, those close to the former NFL player told Jim Henry of The Tallahassee Democrat.
No further update on Hayes' specific medical condition has been given, but the situation is clearly very serious. His condition has reportedly worsened in recent weeks.
“Geno's in need of prayers. He’s fighting for his life,” Hayes' former high school coach Frankie Carroll said, per The Tallahassee Democrat. “It’s tough. Geno’s a fun-loving guy.”
Hayes is a well-regarded Florida football star, who's developed a reputation for giving back to the community since his playing days ended. He's still well-known in his hometown of Greenville.
Hayes burst onto the national scene at Florida State, where he became an All-ACC first team member during his junior season in 2007. The following year, after foregoing his college eligibility, he was drafted in the sixth round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, keeping him in his home state.
Hayes went on to play in 101 NFL games over the course of his seven year career for three different teams: the Buccaneers (2008-11), the Chicago Bears (2012) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-14). He finished his playing days with 401 tackles, 10 sacks, six forced fumbles and six interceptions.
Our thought are with Hayes and his family during this difficult time.