NFL's Geno Hayes in Hospice at 33

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida State Seminoles player has liver disease
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2021 1:24 AM CDT
NFL's Geno Hayes in Hospice at 33
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Geno Hayes returns a first-quarter blocked punt for a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008, in Tampa, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Geno Hayes, the former linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Florida State Seminoles, is in hospice care at age 33. Hayes was diagnosed with liver disease two years ago and entered the hospital last month. He's now been moved to hospice care at his parents' Georgia home, ESPN reports. Before entering the hospital, Hayes had told the site he'd been hospitalized more than 20 times over the prior year and that he'd been placed on a transplant waiting list in December.

He said that while alcoholic cirrhosis was his initial diagnosis, it was later changed to chronic liver disease, "because I don't drink like that." Rather, he blamed over-the-counter pain meds, though he always took them according to package directions, and a family history of liver disease. Hayes also played with the Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars. "Geno's in need of prayers. He’s fighting for his life," Hayes' former high school coach tells the Tallahassee Democrat. "It’s tough." (Read more NFL stories.)

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