Former NFL linebacker Jessie Lemonier died at 25, the Detroit Lions confirmed Thursday.
Details of Lemonier's death haven't been released. Lemonier planned to play for the USFL's Birmingham Stallions this spring after he signed with and was subsequently traded from the Houston Gamblers about a month ago. The XFL's Arlington Renegades also drafted Lemonier in November.
"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier," the Lions said in a statement. "Jessie was a model teammate and wonderful young man who is gone far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."
Lemonier played seven games for the Lions in 2021 and started two after being promoted from their practice squad. He registered 1.5 sacks, 3 quarterback hits and 15 combined tackles in 161 total snaps. Lemonier also played 46 special teams snaps. The Lions released Lemonier on May 16, 2022 before he was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Cardinals, who released him a few weeks before the season started.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 9, 2022
Drew Smith, Lemonier's agent, told ESPN that the linebacker and his girlfriend were expecting a child.
Lemonier began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020. He played six total games for the Chargers in 2020 and registered 2 combined tackles and 2 quarterback hits in 44 defensive snaps. He racked up 20.5 sacks in two years at Liberty from 2018-2019.