NFL Linebacker Jessie Lemonier Dead At 25 Amid Girlfriend's Pregnancy

Professional football star Jessie Lemonier has died.

The former Detroit Lions linebacker passed away this week. The NFL team first confirmed the news on Thursday, but declined to share too many more details. Lemonier was just 25 years old.

According to ESPN, Lemonier entered the league in 2020 after playing college football at Liberty University. He played with the Los Angeles Chargers that year. Then, in 2021, he recorded 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks with the Lions. Most recently, he’d played for the Arizona Cardinals.

This year, he had been signed to play in the forthcoming season of the United States Football League. He signed weeks ago with the Houston Gamblers, and was then traded to the Birmingham Stallions in preparation for the spring schedule. But sadly, he passed away this week before he could continue his football dream. No cause of death has been revealed yet.

Lemonier’s agent Drew Smith told ESPN that the late linebacker and his girlfriend are expecting a child together. Beyond that, Smith also declined to give further details about the athlete’s unexpected passing.

Very early on Friday morning, the Lions released a statement on Lemonier’s death via Twitter (below):

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier. 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.”

Lemonier’s first NFL team, the Chargers, did so as well:

“gone too soon. our hearts are with jessie’s family, friends and loved ones”

Like many men who make it to the NFL, Lemonier was a college football star. At Liberty, he capped off a stellar amateur career by guiding the Flames to a win in the Cure Bowl in 2019. It was the school’s first-ever bowl game victory. After the game, Lemonier was named the bowl’s Most Valuable Player.

On Thursday afternoon, the Virginia-based university took to Instagram to recount their grief over Jessie’s death as well:

“The Liberty Athletics family is deeply saddened to learn about the passing of former Flames football great Jessie Lemonier. Jessie was loved by Flames Nation for being a fierce competitor on the gridiron and cherished by his coaches and teammates in the locker room. 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.”

A post shared by Liberty Football (@libertyfootball)

What a terrible, tragic situation. Gone far too soon. Dead at just 25 years old… ugh. Our hearts break.

We send our love and condolences to Jessie’s family, friends, and loved ones. And especially to his girlfriend as she navigates this terrible time while also preparing for childbirth.


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