Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Former linebacker in hospice care at age 33

Geno Hayes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Geno Hayes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images) /

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Geno Hayes is currently in hospice care fighting for his life at the criminally and tragically young age of 33 according to multiple reports, first coming from Jim Henry of the Tallahassee Democrat via those close to Hayes.

Hayes, a native of Greenville, Florida and well regarded football star in the state, reportedly returned to his parents house in Valdosta, Georgia where he is being treated for liver complications. Not much else is known at this time but what is known is that Hayes and his family should be kept in everyone’s thoughts, prayers, and good wishes.

Hayes didn’t have to move far when the Buccaneers selected him in the sixth round (175th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. Hayes, who described by his former high school football coach Frankie Carroll as a “fun-loving guy”, was also a hard worker. Using the chip on his shoulder from being a sixth-round pick, worked his way into the starting lineup by his second season with the Buccaneers in 2009 until his final season in Tampa in 2011. Hayes would be the heir apparent to Derrick Brooks in the starting lineup.

Hayes would record 257 tackles (37 for a loss), seven sacks, four interceptions, five forced fumbles with a recovery and a touchdown while playing for the Buccaneers.

He would go on to spend the last three years of his career with the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars before becoming a free agent and eventually retiring after the 2014 season. He finished his career in the NFL with 401 total tackles, 10 sacks, six forced fumbles and six interceptions.

Obviously this is a very serious situation, and one to monitor as more information arises, but as last reported his health condition has worsened in the recent weeks. As we said, please keep Hayes and his family in your good spirits, as we here at The Pewter Plank will do the same during this very hard time.