Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin revealed on the Rich Eisen Show on Friday that he contracted COVID-19 in late June.
He calls it the worst thing he has ever dealt with.
“I didn’t know I had it, and then I got real sick,” Irvin said. “I mean, a pounding headache for like four or five days. You couldn’t eat. You can’t sleep. You’ve just got to endure the pain. I took two tests. They all came back negative. So I’m thinking, ‘OK, I’m good. I don’t have it. I don’t have it.’ But I’m feeling the pain, and then after I went through about three weeks of hell — about three weeks of hell — I said, ‘OK, I’m going to go and take the antibody test,’ because it had to be something. It had to be COVID. There’s no way I went through that kind of pain, that kind of hell, and nobody knows what it is. Then, I’m scared it may come back. So I took the antibody test, and of course the antibody test, which I think is more accurate, came back that I had the antibodies. My doctor said I should be pretty good now.”
Irvin’s career ended with a cervical spinal cord injury that left him temporarily paralyzed. He also injured his collarbone and tore an ACL during his 12-year career.
Irvin played 159 of a possible 192 career games for the Cowboys.
Yet, he ranks the COVID-19 headache above them all on a pain-tolerance level.
“I pray for anybody who has it,” Irvin said. “The headache, I said to myself, I’m not lying, I wanted out of here. I was like, ‘Man, there’s no way I can even endure this.’ The only thing I kept saying is, ‘You’ve only got two weeks of it. Two weeks. Two weeks.’ I pray for all the people that have those migraines, because it’s severe like a migraine, and they have it all the time. That would be the hardest thing in the world to live with, because I just went through it. It was the hardest thing in the world I’ve ever dealt with.”