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Former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has confirmed to teams during his NFL draft process that he is managing epilepsy, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport.
The report also states that doctors “believe he’ll outgrow it as his other family members have,” and that the illness has not impacted Fields on the field to this point. Fields’ symptoms have also been “shorter and last frequent over the past few years.”
According to Epilepsy.com, epilepsy is defined as “a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have two unprovoked seizures (or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more) that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar.”
Pelissero reported that Fields was diagnosed years back and has had no issues when he has been taking medication.
Fields would not be the first NFL player diagnosed with epilepsy. Pro Football Hall of Fame guard Alan Franeca played in the NFL from 1998-2010. He finished as a nine-time Pro Bowler and eight-time All-Pro selection. Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and cornerback Samari Rolle were among other notable NFL players to play through epilepsy.
The former Ohio State quarterback finished his collegiate career with 5,701 passing yards, 67 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran for 1,133 yards and 19 touchdowns.