PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When Jon Dorenbos was traded by the Eagles last month, the long snappers’ teammates were sad to see him go. On Friday, the Eagles were sad about Dorenbos for a much different reason.
The popular former Eagle will undergo surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. The condition was discovered when Dorenbos took a physical with the Saints. It was an exam which may have saved Dorenbos’s life.
For former Eagles such as Malcolm Jenkins, it was shocking news concerning one of the most popular players in team history.
“It’s definitely unfortunate,” said Jenkins. “We’re praying for Jon. We take our health for granted sometimes when we play a gladiator sport and play it for a long time like Jon did. To find out news like that is scary, but we’re here with him and praying for him.”
Chris Maragos played with Dorenbos on special teams for several seasons. The safety shared his concerns about Dorenbos with the shock of realizing that something like this could happen to a well-conditioned athlete in the NFL.
Maragos is optimistic Dorenbos will be able to recover.
“It’s probably one of those things that maybe just popped up out of nowhere,” Maragos said. “I don’t know the extent of everything, but I’ve heard that he’s going to be okay. I just wish him the best right now. It’s just a weird situation.”
Rick Lovato won the long snapping job from Dorenbos during training camp, and is appreciative of how the team physicals cover every part of a player’s health.
The situation with Dorenbos has become an eye opener for the rest of the team, and the long hours of physicals have taken on an even greater meaning in light of Dorenbos’s illness.
“Things like this can happen to players,” said Lovato. “People don’t even realize that it could happen to them. Everyone assumes ‘I’m fine. Nothing’s going to happen to me.’ But it’s something completely outside of football. Health is the most important thing.”
Whether Dorenbos will ever play football again is a moot point at this time. His first concern will be getting his surgery to repair the damage in his heart.
As Linebacker Nigel Bradham and the rest of the Eagles prepare for the Redskins on Sunday, they can only offer prayers and support for their beloved former teammate.
“It’s very unfortunate for him,” Bradham said. “At this moment, all we can do as a team is just pray for him. Obviously, he’s still family here.”