Former Lions great Alex Karras in critical condition
Sta. Monica, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Former Detroit Lions defensive end Alex Karras is in critical condition and has been given few days to live after suffering kidney failure in the last two weeks.
“I got a call from Susan last Wednesday or Thursday that he was in the hospital,” Karras’ long-time friend Tom McInerney said. “His kidneys gave out on him and legs swelled up and his ankles swelled up and arms, so she said it doesn’t look good. They figured probably a couple weeks.”
The 77-year-old Karras has been released from Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California and is currently on hospice care at his California home. He has a variety of health problems in recent years, including dementia and cancer.
Karras is part of the mass concussion lawsuit filed by more than 3,000 former players against the NFL.
After playing defensive tackle for the Lions from 1958-70, Karras ventured into a successful acting career, starring as Mongo in the movie “Blazing Saddles” and in the 1980s sitcom “Webster”.
“If there’s a miracle out there you have to call upon it,” said Hall-of-Fame linebacker Joe Schmidt, Karras’ former teammate with the Lions. “It’s one of those things I’ve gone through with quite a few guys I played with have passed.”
Lions president Tom Lewand released a statement, expressing deep sadness over Karras’ condition.
“The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras. Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex,” Lewand said.
“We know Alex first and foremost as one of the cornerstones to our Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s and also as one of the greatest defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL,” he added.
Lewand has called on football and entertainment fans to pray and support the Karras family during this difficult time.