Some sobering news for New Orleans Saints long snapper Jon Dorenbos: Saints coach Sean Payton announced on Friday that Dorenbos will undergo immediate open-heart surgery after team doctor John Amoss discovered the 37-year-old has an aortic aneurysm.
Dorenbos was traded from Philadelphia, where he spent 11 years, to New Orleans on Aug. 28. During the physical he went through as part of the trade, doctors discovered the pre-existing condition.
Dorenbos will be placed on the non-football injury list.
An undrafted rookie out of Texas-El Paso in 2003, Dorenbos played for the Bills and Titans before joining the Eagles in 2006. In recent years, he’s become arguably the most famous long snapper in league history thanks to his hobby: magic.
Dorenbos appeared on America’s Got Talent last summer as a contestant, and this summer as a guest performer. He’s also impressed Ellen Degeneres on her show, and it didn’t take him long to show his new teammates some of his tricks:
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 30, 2017
According to the National Institutes of Health, there are two types of aortic aneurysms: abdominal and thoracic; it is unclear which one Dorenbos has. Undiscovered, an aneurysm could rupture or dissect, both of which are often fatal.
So in a way, Dorenbos’ life may have been saved by the Eagles trading him. Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson told reporters on Friday that he didn’t know about Dorenbos’ condition before the team traded him.
He is the second member of Saints to miss this season due to a heart problem – defensive tackle Nick Fairley may never play football again after doctors found he has an undisclosed heart condition, but he is on injured reserve for this year.