UPDATED: Hayes Passed Away 4/26/2021
Internet media reports in the last 24 hours state that former NFL linebacker Geno Hayes has been placed into hospice due to a devastating ordeal with chronic liver disease.
Hayes told ESPN that the use of NSAIDs (usually over-the-counter pain medications) to control pain contributed to or caused the liver failure.
Hayes's former high school coach Frankie Carroll told USA Today, "Geno's in need of prayers. He’s fighting for his life".
Hayes played at Florida State and then was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 6th round of the 2008 NFL Draft. At the 2008 NFL combine Hayes measured 6-2, 226 and ran a 4.67 forty and did 22 reps of 225 pounds, so his athleticism was top-notch.
In 2008 he backed up Derrick Brooks at the WILL linebacker spot and n 2009 he took over the position and played very well for two years.
According to research done by PFR, Hayes led the NFL in run/pass stuffs (tackles for loss) in 2009 and was second in 2010 with a total of 25 those two seasons. That BucsWILL position sure has a propensity for making plays in the backfield with Brooks, then Hayes (32 in three years), and the Lavonte David who has 110.0 run/pass stuffs since 2012. Hayes also averaged 90 tackles and 6 passes defensed those two years.
His play certainly impressed the Bears (though 2011 was an off-season) who signed Hayes as a free agent in 2012, however, he was not able to crack the starting lineup with Lance Briggs set at WILL, though Hayes did play some on the strong side with the Bears.
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Hayes as a free agent in 2013 and played inside in 2014 and then outside in 2014. However, a knee injury in 2013 cost Hayes some of his speed, and the pain relief he sought has cost him his health and likely his life.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Hayes has been placed on a waiting list for a transplant at the Mayo Clinic and Northwestern Medicine.
We can only hope.