The Loop

Watch this former NFL player describe how getting traded might've saved his life

November 13, 2017

We've written about former NFL player Jon Dorenbos before, and his wide-ranging talents, including his knack for magic tricks. On Monday, though, we learned more about his story -- and how it took an emotional turn just before the 2017 season started.

As a guest on Ellen, Dorenbos, a 37-year-old former long-snapper with the Philadelphia Eagles, described how getting traded -- usually a life-changing situation for a professional athlete -- really helped save his life. Traded to the New Orleans Saints, Dorenbos took a physical after his first preseason game, and the tests revealed a heart condition that required immediate open-heart surgery.

We'll let the video do the rest of the talking. Dorenbos tells the story much better than we could.

Can you imagine that? One second, you're a world-class athlete in a new city trying to make an impression and secure a starting role, the next, you're wondering if your last breath would be your final one.

Dorenbos received a standing ovation from Philly fans at a recent Eagles game, but this is the first time the long-snapper made a public appearance. Six weeks after his emergency open-heart surgery, it appears Dorenbos is doing well. We wish him all the best going forward, and we thank him for sharing this emotional story.

NFL player Jon Dorenbos

Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images