Former Detroit Lions Player Dies Unexpectedly at 25, Team Announces
Tragedy has struck the NFL world as former Detroit Lions linebacker Jessie Lemonier abruptly died, the team announced Thursday
Lemonier was only 25.
"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier," the Lions said in a statement posted to Twitter.
"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."
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 26, 2023
The 25-year-old from Hialeah, Florida was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020. He played in six games that season and notched two tackles and two quarterback hits.
Lemonier showed some signs of improvement in his second year after he joined the Lions.
He started two games and played in seven for Detroit in 2021, notching a sack and a half, 15 total tackles and three quarterback hits.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 9, 2022
He signed with the Arizona Cardinals last year but was cut during trading camp.
Ever the football player, Lemonier refused to let that be the end of his professional career.
The athletic linebacker was drafted into the XFL in November before ultimately joining the USFL's Houston Gamblers. Before the USFL season began, Lemonier was traded to the Birmingham Stallions.
Lemonier had a standout college football career, recording a whopping 20.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in just two years at Liberty University.
Making his death even more gut-wrenching, ESPN reported his agent said Lemonier and his girlfriend were expecting a child.
Unsurprisingly, the tributes and love poured in for Lemonier on social media.
Former teammate and current Charger Breiden Fehoko reminisced about entering the league with him.
My brother man. 💔💔 We came in to the league together had to battle through everything rookie year to get where we are. You were always filled with life bro. I LOVE YOU BRO! Please check up on your people. PLEASE pic.twitter.com/v4eD1qAjil
— Fehoko Show (@breidenfehoko4) January 26, 2023
Liberty University also posted the news to its site, thanking Lemonier for helping take the school to the highest level of college football.
"Lemonier helped Liberty make the transition from the FCS to the FBS level during his two seasons with the Flames (2018-19)," it said.
"He capped off his career at Liberty by earning MVP honors in the 2019 Cure Bowl, helping the Flames secure their first-ever bowl game victory. The senior finished the bowl game with eight tackles, including two sacks."
No cause of death had been provided as of early Thursday afternoon.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.