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Former Lions LB Jessie Lemonier dead at 25

By Tyler Greenawalt, Yahoo Sports,


Former NFL linebacker Jessie Lemonier died at 25, the Detroit Lions confirmed Thursday.

The details of Lemonier's death haven't been released. Lemonier planned to play for the USFL's Birmingham Stallions this spring after he signed with and subsequently traded from the Houston Gamblers earlier this year. The XFL's Arlington Renegades also drafted Lemonier in November.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier," the Lions said in a statement. "Jessie was a model teammate and wonderful young man who is gone far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."

Lemonier played seven games for the Lions in 2021 and started two after being promoted from their practice squad. He registered 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hits 15 combined tackles in 161 total snaps. Lemonier also played 46 special team snaps. The Lions released Lemonier on May 16, 2022 before he was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Cardinals, who released him a few weeks before the season would start.

Drew Smith, Lemonier's agent, told ESPN that the linebacker and his girlfriend were expecting a child.

Lemonier began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020. He played six total games for the Chargers in 2020 and registered two combined tackles and two quarterback hits in 44 defensive snaps. He wracked up 20.5 sacks in two years a Liberty from 2018-2019.

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