Former NFL linebacker Jessie Lemonier dead at 25

Jessie Lemonier, a former NFL linebacker who played for the Los Angeles Chargers and Detroit Lions, has died at age 25, the teams announced.

Neither organization released a cause of death for Lemonier, who recorded 17 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 13 career games.

Lemonier and his girlfriend were expecting a baby together, his agent, Drew Smith, told ESPN.

“Jessie was a model teammate and wonderful young man who is gone far too soon,” the Lions said Thursday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Lemonier joined the Chargers after going undrafted out of Liberty University in 2020. He appeared in six games with Los Angeles that season before being released the following year. Lemonier then signed with the Lions in 2021 and had 15 tackles in seven games, including two starts.

The Cardinals claimed Lemonier off waivers in 2022 but he didn’t appear in a game with the team.

The Arlington Renegade of the XFL selected Lemonier in last November’s draft. The linebacker opted to instead join the United States Football League and signed with the Houston Gamblers, who traded him to the Birmingham Stallions.

Former Charges teammate Breiden Fehoko called Lemonier his “brother” in a tribute Thursday.

“We came in to the league together had to battle through everything rookie year to get where we are,” tweeted Fehoko, who plays defensive tackle. “You were always filled with life bro. I LOVE YOU BRO! Please check up on your people. PLEASE.”