Ex-NFL Linebacker Dies Days Before 26th Birthday

No cause of death given for Jessie Lemonier, who played for Lions, Chargers, and Cardinals
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2023 3:50 PM CST
Ex-NFL Linebacker Lemonier Dies at 25
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jessie Lemonier before an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

Former NFL linebacker Jessie Lemonier has died at age 25, reports USA Today. No cause of death has been released. The linebacker out of Liberty University made his NFL debut with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020, playing in six games that season. He played for the Detroit Lions the following season, registering 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks in seven games. Though he played in a preseason game for the Arizona Cardinals in 2022, Lemonier was released before the season began.

"Jessie was a model teammate and wonderful young man who is gone far too soon," the Lions said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time." Though he was out of the NFL, at least temporarily, Lemonier remained a professional football player—the 6-3, 240-pound athlete was due to play with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL in the upcoming season, per CBS News. Lemonier's death comes just days before his Jan. 31 birthday. His agent tells ESPN that Lemonier and his girlfriend were expecting a child. (More obituary stories.)

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