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Former NFL Player Dies Suddenly at 25


Former Detroit Lions linebacker Jessie Lemonier has passed away, the team confirmed Thursday.

He was 25.

No details have been released on his cause of death.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier,” the Lions said in a statement.

“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.”

Drew Smith of DEC Management, Lemonier’s agent, told ESPN that the Hialeah, Florida native was expecting a child with his girlfriend.

ESPN reported:

Lemonier, who was drafted by the XFL’s Arlington Renegades in November, instead recently signed with the USFL’s Houston Gamblers for the upcoming season before being traded to the Birmingham Stallions.

He appeared in seven games with the Lions during the 2021 season, finishing with 15 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals last summer and registered a sack in a preseason game but was later released during training camp.

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Lemonier, a native of Hialeah, Florida, originally signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Liberty in 2020. He saw action in six games, making two tackles.

“He’s a guy that has this laid-back (attitude),” Lions linebacker coach Kelvin Sheppard previously said about Lemonier.

“I tell him he belongs on the beach because he has this laid-back demeanor to him. He needs to be pushed. As long as you push him, you hold him accountable, he answers that bell every time. I’m definitely impressed with his growth and development.”

SB Nation added:

Lemonier spent a full season with the Lions in 2021. Signed initially to the practice squad at the start of the regular season, Lemonier finally got his chance to get on the field for Detroit’s final seven games of the season. Over that time, he played in 161 defensive snaps, started two games, and tallied 1.5 sacks.


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