Former Detroit Lions great Alex Karras has suffered kidney failure in recent weeks, and has been given only a few days left to live. Tom McInerney, a longtime friend of Karras, revealed the news to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press after speaking with Karras' wife Susan Clark on Monday:
"I got a call from Susan last Wednesday or Thursday that he was in the hospital," McInerney said. "(His kidneys) gave out on him and legs swelled up and his ankles swelled up and arms, so she said it doesn't look good. They figured probably a couple weeks.
"He said, ‘I want to go home,' so knowing Alex she made arrangements for him. She talked to me Saturday morning waiting for the ambulance to take him home with her daughter and she was going to let me know. Well, I couldn't get in touch with her yesterday or Saturday and she called me this morning, said, ‘It doesn't look too good, Tommy. They're talking probably a couple days.'"
The 77-year-old Karras' health has slowly deteriorated over recent years due to bouts with cancer and dementia. He's currently a part of a concussion lawsuit that more than 3,000 players have filed against the NFL.
Karras played defensive tackle for the Lions from 1958-70 and followed up his NFL playing days with a career in acting. He's probably best known for his role as Mongo in the Mel Brooks comedy "Blazing Saddles."