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Donald Jones turns to baseball after kidney transplant

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Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Donald Jones was forced to retire from the NFL last August after discovering he had a kidney disease that made it impossible to continue playing football.

Now just four months after a kidney transplant, Jones is trying to make his way back onto the field in a different sport.

According to Mike Ashmore of, Jones is playing outfield for the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

After being released by the New England Patriots last July, Jones set up a workout with the Indianapolis Colts but had his blood pressure skyrocket during a stress test that ultimately convinced him he could no longer keep playing football. He was diagnosed with Berger’s Disease and required a transplant or kidney dialysis. He received a donor kidney from his father.

“It was scary, to say the least,” Jones said. “But I came to terms with everything, it was going to be what it was going to be. I was excited to get the whole thing over with and I was happy I didn’t have to do the dialysis.”

Jones was coming off his best season with the Bills in 2012. He caught 41 passes for 443 yards and four touchdowns In his three years in Buffalo, he caught 82 passes for 887 yards and six touchdowns.

Jones played baseball through high school and is currently just working out with the Somerset Patriots.

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23 Responses to “Donald Jones turns to baseball after kidney transplant”
  1. truebuffalo says: Apr 17, 2014 11:28 PM

    Best of luck to the kid

  2. bobnelsonfootballroutineishilarious says: Apr 17, 2014 11:28 PM

    Awesome story. I’d jump at the chance to donate a kidney to my son if he needed it. Just nice to hear amongst all this other selfish bs surrounding us. Good luck kid! Tremendous act of selflessness Pops!

  3. wtfchiefs says: Apr 17, 2014 11:29 PM

    Good luck Jones! Hope you make it to the bigs.

  4. 49erfan44 says: Apr 17, 2014 11:31 PM

    Good for him.

  5. buffalodiehard says: Apr 18, 2014 12:05 AM

    I have a new favorite team in the Atlantic League.

  6. catquick says: Apr 18, 2014 12:05 AM

    GOD BLESS him. Best of luck.

  7. followme2boston says: Apr 18, 2014 12:22 AM

    It was a shame when he had to quit playing ball. Glad to see he is back on his feet. Huge props to his dad for giving up one of his kidneys for his son.

  8. mrtullymars says: Apr 18, 2014 12:45 AM

    Good luck, Donald. Life ain’t fair, but you don’t have to let that stop you.

  9. eleventyeight says: Apr 18, 2014 12:53 AM

    Good luck to him.

    Hope everything works out for the best.

  10. suelo8 says: Apr 18, 2014 1:05 AM

    Be well, Donald. Best of luck to you. You were always a class act in Buffalo.

  11. suelo8 says: Apr 18, 2014 1:07 AM

    Best of luck to you, Donald. You were always a class act with the Bills. Stay we’ll.

  12. magicmtndan says: Apr 18, 2014 1:32 AM

    Too bad he can’t play football anymore. But he’s extremely lucky to have a father who would give him a kidney so he can avoid dialysis.

    Hope he finds something to do with the rest of his life.

  13. billsfan25 says: Apr 18, 2014 1:38 AM

    Best wishes to you, Mr. Jones. We’re rooting for you!

  14. justbhouse2 says: Apr 18, 2014 1:44 AM

    Truly happy for you Donald Jones. A second chance at life. Good luck to you

  15. pfromvv says: Apr 18, 2014 2:50 AM

    As a man who lost his woman to kidney disease, even after a kidney transplant and dialysis. I’m glad Jones’ father was able to give him a kidney so he wouldn’t have to deal with dialysis anytime soon. It’s not something anyone wants to ever experience. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is successful in his baseball career or anything else he decides to pursue.

  16. kappy32 says: Apr 18, 2014 2:56 AM

    Good for him. Jones wasn’t going to be a star, but he was pretty consistent & had some nice games with Buffalo despite not having a QB worth a damn throwing him the ball. I hope his health holds up & maybe he’ll get a look from a major league team. I live on Long Island, so I am rather familiar with the Independent Atlantic League – I go to a few LI Ducks games each year – and it is a place where washed-up veterans & talented, over-looked youngsters go to try to impress a major league scout or two. There have been a few guys from the Ducks to have been given major league shots through their play in the Atlantic League; I hope Jones is the next from this league to get one. Nevertheless, coming back from a kidney replacement to play professional ball at any level is quite impressive & is a great story.

  17. pencilmonkeymagic says: Apr 18, 2014 7:09 AM

    Good luck to the guy. To come back into any sport after that takes some doing.

  18. pabrownsfan says: Apr 18, 2014 7:44 AM

    I wish him the best of luck.

  19. xbot5000 says: Apr 18, 2014 7:49 AM

    Glad he’s doin ok…

  20. dchetz says: Apr 18, 2014 8:06 AM

    Good guy… best of luck as you continue in life…

  21. bradyisyourdaddy says: Apr 18, 2014 8:15 AM

    Lets go Somerset Pats!!

  22. Waffle 2.0 says: Apr 18, 2014 8:27 AM

    good luck to this young man

  23. cjspiller12 says: Apr 18, 2014 11:34 AM

    Class act when he played for the Bills. Best of luck to this young man!!

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