Jerome Harrison Has the NFL to Thank for Saving His Life

Jerome HarrisonPlayers usually don't have a whole lot of warm and gushy feelings toward a team that wants to trade them. But running back Jerome Harrison should be kissing the ground that the Detroit Lions' management walks on today. The Lions' attempt to trade the 28-year-old back to the Philadelphia Eagles just saved his life!

Sit back. This is the kind of story that will give you goosebumps!


Harrison was forced to undergo a physical -- standard part of the trade procedure -- and it uncovered a brain tumor. Technically that means Harrison failed the physical, voiding the trade and leaving the Lions in quite the pickle. If the fate of fellow Washington State player and brain tumor sufferer Ryan Leaf (who was forced to retire from the NFL) is any indication, it may even end his football career.

OK, so that sucks when you've been a big-shot football player your whole life. But come on, people!

Jerome Harrison is alive! And he has the Detroit Lions to thank for it. That's what they call taking lemons and squishing them into a frosty cup of lemonade!

Most tumors grow over time. Catching them early means a better rate of survival. And right now, Harrison's prognosis is good -- it's treatable. But without the physical, without the trade, it wouldn't have been caught, at least not so early on.

If he recovers quickly, Harrison could find a place back on the Eagles, where Ronnie Brown (who Philadelphia was trying to send to Detroit in the trade for their former running back) has been a dismal failure, with just 38 yards on 13 attempts with no touchdowns and one fumble. There's also the possibility the Lions will keep him. After all, the tumor could explain his slow start (Harrison has 41 yards on 14 attempts this season as a back-up running back), and treatment could return his body to its 2009-season form, when he had a league-high 561 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns (eighth-highest three-game total in NFL history).

Even if he doesn't return to the gridiron, the Michigan native has a lot to be happy about. He's alive. If the Lions didn't try to trade him, who knows where he'd be.

Did this story give you goosebumps?


Image via Getty Images Sports

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