Football fans were left saddened this week to learn that 25-year-old former NFL linebacker Jessie Lemonier died unexpectedly this week.
According to ESPN, Lemonier’s passing was confirmed on Thursday by the Detroit Lions, the team he once played for.
Lemonier was hailed as “a model teammate and wonderful young man”
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier,” a statement from the Lions was quoted as saying. “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.”
The team’s statement concluded by saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.” Lemonier’s cause of death was not announced.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 26, 2023
Lemonier had played for Liberty University before his professional career, and the school released a statement of its own regarding his death.
Player was known as “a fierce competitor” who was “cherished” by coaches and teammates
“The Liberty Athletics family is deeply saddened to learn about the passing of former Flames football great Jessie Lemonier,” the private Christian college declared.
“Jessie was loved by the Flames Nation for being a fierce competitor on the gridiron and cherished by his coaches and teammates in the locker room,” it stressed. “Liberty Athletics will continue to keep his family and friends in our prayers that God may bring peace and comfort to them during the difficult days ahead.”
— Liberty Football (@LibertyFootball) January 26, 2023
Lemonier also played for a time with the Los Angeles Chargers, and the team put out a tweet lamenting that he was “gone too soon.”
gone too soon.
our hearts are with jessie’s family, friends and loved ones 💙 pic.twitter.com/v7Egt6p8va
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) January 26, 2023
Lemonier’s death comes weeks after a dramatic on-field heart attack
Tributes from Lemonier’s colleagues also appeared on social media, including from Los Angeles Charger Fehoko Show.
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
Lemonier’s death comes just weeks after 25-year-old Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin made headlines by suffering a heart attack on live television as his team faced off against the Cincinnati Bengals.