The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted former Florida State linebacker Geno Hayes with their 175th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft. Hayes spent four years with the Buccaneers before joining the Chicago Bears in 2012. Following his short stay in Chicago, he finished his NFL career after playing two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013 and 2014.
During his seven years in the NFL, Geno Hayes registered 401 total tackles, 48 tackles for loss, 21 pass deflections, 10 sacks, six interceptions and one touchdown. Hayes has also started 70 games out of a possible 101 in his career.
Off the field, Geno Hayes was known for being a great role model for children and his community.
During an interview with ESPN, Hayes said that he was heading into the hospital last month and that he's currently on the waiting list for a liver transplant. Geno Hayes was hospitalized a total of 20 times over the past year due to his condition.
What was the cause of Geno Hayes' passing?
Geno Hayes started to realize that something was not right with his body after a sudden weight loss. "I went from 220 to 150," Hayes told ESPN. "That was when I was first diagnosed."
Geno Hayes went on to explain his liver problems during the interview. Hayes said that the doctors first diagnosed him with alcoholic cirrhosis. He knew this couldn't be correct because he didn't drink a lot of alcohol and only consumed wine. Both the doctor and Geno Hayes knew that his body had been through some punishment during his NFL career.
When an NFL athlete is dealing with pain, they usually turn to Toradol shots to help ease the pain. Geno Hayes didn't go that route because he didn't feel it was safe.
Instead, Geno Hayes took nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are usually prescribed but can also be bought over-the-counter like aspirin or ibuprofen. Hayes felt that NSAIDs were the safer route for his body, but he realized that it was worse after looking into it.
Geno Hayes did things the right way and the safe way. Instead of taking the hard pain killers, he took over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol and ibuprofen. It has been reported that taking too much Tylenol can cause liver damage because of acetaminophen.
As of right now, the cause of death for Geno Hayes has been labeled as liver failure. Hayes passed away on Monday night while under the care of hospice at his mother's home. Geno Hayes was 33-years-old and will be missed by many.