Former NFL player Jessie Lemonier has died at the age of 25, the Detroit Lions confirmed Thursday. Lemonier spent time with three different teams during his two NFL seasons. The cause of Lemonier’s death was not immediately known.
The linebacker has played a total of 13 games during his career. Seven of them play with the Lions, who released the following statement about his passing:
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier. Jessie was a role model teammate and a wonderful young man who passed away far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time.”
Lemonier was not drafted from Liberty in 2020, but he quickly hooked up with an NFL team when he signed with the Chargers a day after the 2020 NFL Draft. The linebacker was eventually cut to the end of training camp, but the Chargers liked him enough to add him to their practice squad that season. In his one and only season with the Chargers, Lemonier played in six games.
Chargers too issued a statement after Lemonier’s death: “Gone too soon. Our hearts are with Jessie’s family, friends and loved ones.”
After a year’s stint in Los Angeles, Lemonier moved to Detroit. In his only year with the Lions, he played in seven games while recording two starts. Lemonier had 1.5 sacks during his time in Detroit, his biggest against Aaron Rodgers in the Lions’ 2021 regular season finale.
Lemonier then signed with the Cardinals ahead of the 2022 season, but he never saw action in Arizona after the team let him go during training camp.
Although he didn’t see the field with an NFL team in 2022, he was drafted by the Arlington Renegades of the XFL in November. Instead of the XFL, however, Lemonier set his sights on the USFL when he signed with the Houston Gamblers in December. Shortly after signing, he was traded to the Birmingham stallions, who are due to start training camp in March.
Lemonier was the younger brother of former NFL player Corey Lemonier, who spent four seasons in the NFL after being drafted by the 49ers in 2013. Jessie’s death comes days before his 26th birthday (January 31).