In another report of a sudden and unexpected death of a healthy younger person — Jessie Lemonier, a former professional football player — has died. He was 25 years old.
Lemonier played as a linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020 and the Detroit Lions in 2021. The Lions announced Lemonier’s death on Thursday morning.
“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.
Many are expressing shock and sadness.
“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 grew up in Hialeah, Florida. He was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2020 and recorded two tackles and two quarterback hits in the six games he played that season.
The promising athlete seemed to be hitting his stride in his second year of professional play. Playing for Detroit in 2021, Lemonier started in two games, played in seven and recorded a sack and a half, 15 total tackles and three quarterback hits, according to the Western Journal.
Lemonier was signed by the Arizona Cardinals in 2022 but was cut during trading camp, prompting the linebacker to sign with the XFL. He joined USFL’s Houston Gamblers in November but was traded to the Birmingham Stallions before the season began.
Liberty University noted that Lemonier had a standout college football career, recording 20.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in his two years of play for the school.
ESPN recently reported that Lemonier’s agent recently shared that Jessie and his girlfriend were expecting a child.
Breiden Fehoko, a former teammate and current member of the Los Angeles Charger’s NFL team, remembered Lemonier in a post:
Liberty University also posted a tribute to Lemonier on its website:
“Lemonier helped Liberty make the transition from the FCS to the FBS level during his two seasons with the Flames (2018-19).”
Liberty’s tribute continued: “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.”
The Western Journal reported that no cause of death had been cited as of Thursday morning.
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