Ryan Leaf needs radiation treatment for brain tumor


We mentioned in May that former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Leaf revealed on Wednesday that he will also need radiation treatment.

“I had most of the tumor removed back in May,” Leaf said in a chat with the Seattle Times. “I’m very grateful and blessed that it was benign. I do have to go to Southern California and go through six weeks of radiation starting in the middle of November, but it’s just another bridge I need to cross.”

Leaf, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft, played for the Chargers for three years and the Cowboys for one. Known as one of the biggest draft busts in history, Leaf now sounds like he has his life on track after battling substance abuse problems, although he still says he has regrets about his football career, saying that if he had it to do all over again he would have stayed for his senior year at Washington State instead of entering the draft.

We wish Leaf the best.

36 responses to “Ryan Leaf needs radiation treatment for brain tumor

  1. Good luck, Ryan. In 1998 you were young, immature and not ready for the spotlight and that should not have to effect you for the rest of your life.

    Glad to see and hear (on Jim Rome) that things are going better.

  2. Hope he does well. This kind of reminds me of how back then he was going to be a better QB than Peyton.

    Speaking of that, Luck is expected to be a better QB than Manning, and skip his senior year? I wonder what the odds are of Luck being more like Leaf than Manning. I guess we will know in a couple year.

    It would really hurt to “suck of Luck” and get a new Leaf.

  3. joetoronto says: Oct 20, 2011 12:54 PM

    Radiation therapy and chemo are the real killers.

    Get informed, All the best.


    That’s funny. I know a few cancer survivors that would disagree with you.

  4. Hope he can connect with another former Coug Jerome Harrison who was just diagnosed w/a brain tumor as well.

  5. footballfan:

    I’m extremely happy they survived, but I’m telling you, radiation therapy and chemo really weaken the body and end up killing many people.

    No offense, check it out for yourself, with an open mind.

  6. joetoronto says: Radiation therapy and chemo are the real killers.

    Thank you Doctor Toronto….I mean Medical Researcher Toronto, or is it Bio Engineer Toronto. Your years of medical research and countless hours performing trials have truly paid off. If not for all of your hard work we would continue to win the war against cancer.

    Seriously you freakin moron…..Stage 0 breast cancer has a 5 year survival rate of 93% and Stage 1 is currently at 88% because of TREATMENTS. Just look at where we were 5 or 10 years ago. This is a fact that is across pretty much the entire spectrum of cancers. I am using breast cancer as it is breast cancer awareness month – have you noticed all the pink on the field.

    Statements that you make are not just ignorant and hurtful, they are disrespectful to the Doctors, researchers and healthcare workers who develop, prescribe and perform the techniques that save lives. Additionally you spread false information that can make people question themselves at a very vulnerable time. If you want to make claims go and get a degree and write an article for the New England Journal of health. Until then, keep your ignorant trap shut…….By the way, the Earth revolves around the Sun, not the other way around.

    Get well soon Mr. Leaf. I hope you get the best care and wish you a speedy recovery. You are and always will be a legend at Washington State.

  7. I’ve been a lifelong Chargers fan since the Fouts days and never heard of this guy. Who is he? The article mentions 1998, but every time I try to think of that year my head starts hurting really, really bad….

    Well, whoever he is, I wish him good health.

  8. I’m confused, if the tumor was considered benine why does he need radiation treatments?
    Either way best of luck Ryan.

  9. Many don’t remember that there were actually many in the media reporting that Indy was strongly considering drafting Leaf over the overrated Manning fellow. I always laughed at that crap, thinking how it must have been SD feeding that information to the captured and/or stupid reporters.

    Very best wishes to Ryan Leaf.

  10. I remember watching the Apple Cup the last year of Leaf’s career at WSU. He could throw the out pattern like nobody I have ever seen. The ball would come out so fast and on a straight line that I was convinced there was no way Leaf was not the next great NFL qb.

    Of course he would have had a tough time going back to WSU for his senior season…..he had been 86ed for life from every bar in Pullman and Moscow.

  11. Hey joetoronto, I’d say that cancer is undefeated with no treatment whereas chemo and radiation at least give you a chance and in a lot of cases the odds are much better with than without, at least in this country. Who knows what it’s like in Canada, but I know for a fact some people come over to this country for treatment because the social medicine up there is so inept and takes so long that you’d die before treatment anyway.

  12. Joe are you educated or trained to be giving medical advice? I think you better stay on the Canadian comment boards. Eh?

  13. Joetoronto, people like you are a stain on society. Keep your crazy conspiracy theories on info wars, where other mentally ill people like yourself reside. Don’t spread your bs to the mainstream and potentially threaten lives.

  14. Isn’t it about time Jamarcus Russell replaces Ryan Leaf as the biggest draft bust in NFL history?

  15. Stay Strong Ryan! Life goes far beyond football! You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    P.S. Thanks to chemo & radiation 15 years ago and religously keeping my follow up appts – I’m alive and well; happily reading the profootballtalk.com posts

  16. Get well soon young man, sending positive thoughts your way. I just finished a chemo session in July, am on hormone therapy and they’re working for me. Stay Strong, use whatever works, and don’t listen to the luddites.

  17. I’ve heard Leaf in several interviews and it looks like he’s really matured and owned up to his previous failures on and off the field. He had everything handed to him because he happened to be genetically superior than the average person athletically, but clearly not so much in intelligence. He’s still dumb as a box of rocks, but is certainly more mature and has not squandered the millions away like so many of his fellow teammates.

  18. I don’t understand why some people can’t put their childish remarks to rest when you are talking about someone’s life. It’s so crazy where people will show up to display a useless, heartless comment about a man who could quite possibly die. I was never a Ryan Leaf fan, but I pray to God he recovers and lives a productive life.

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