On Wednesday Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reported that highly rated quarterback prospect Justin Fields (Ohio State) has epilepsy, which NFL teams became aware of during the pre-draft process. According to Rapoport, “it has not affected football & doctors believe he will outgrow it as his other family members have.”

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The news that one of the top prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft is managing epilepsy got the attention of Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame guard Alan Faneca, who can identify with what Fields is going through. Faneca had his first epileptic seizure when he was a freshman in high school, but he didn’t let it stop him from starring at LSU and becoming one of the top offensive line prospects in the 1998 NFL Draft. Nor did it deter Pittsburgh from making him its first-round pick that year, selecting him at No. 26 overall, about as high as most teams will consider selecting an interior offensive lineman.

On Wednesday afternoon Faneca tweeted an inspirational message to Fields, saying, “If I can do it, so can @justnfields, and so can anyone else.”

If I did it, so can @justnfields, and so can anyone else. It is part of us, but does not define us! #epilepsy #neverstopdreaming https://t.co/4DeAx5g3Dk

— Alan Faneca (@afan66) April 21, 2021

Alan Faneca is a Super Bowl Winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer

Of course, Faneca, now 44, wasn’t merely a first-round pick. He played in the NFL for 13 seasons—with the Steelers, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals—and was named to the Pro Bowl nine times, honored as a first-teamer in six of those nine years. He was also responsible for the block that allowed running back Willie Parker to race 75 yards for a third-quarter touchdown in Super Bowl XL, propelling the Steelers to a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

More notably, still, earlier this year he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he will be enshrined this summer.

Nor has Faneca ever shied away from discussing his condition.

“I have epilepsy, but it does not define me, it is …read more

Source:: Heavy.com


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Steelers Hall of Famer Voices Support for Ohio State’s Justin Fields

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