Former NFL linebacker Geno Hayes enters hospice care with liver disease

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Former Buccaneers, Bears, and Jaguars linebacker Geno Hayes has been moved to hospice care, two years after being diagnosed with liver disease.

Jenna Laine of explains that Hayes had been placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant in December, after 20 hospitalizations in the past year. He has now been moved to his parents’ home in Georgia.

“The first diagnosis they gave me was alcoholic cirrhosis,” Hayes, 33, told Laine. “But when we dug in deeper, it became just chronic liver disease, because I don’t drink like that. If I did drink, it was just like wine or something like that. But my body is made different. And that’s what [my doctor] said — ‘Everybody’s made different.'”

Hayes lost 70 pounds during his illness, dropping from 220 to 150. He said that avoided Toradol shots during his playing career, and that he only took over-the-counter pain medications in the dosages directed on the bottle. He believes that a combination of pain medication and family history caused his illness.

A sixth-round pick out of Florida State in 2008, Hayes spent three years with the Buccaneers, one with the Bears, and two with the Jaguars.