Seattle Seahawks’ defensive tackle Jesse Williams was diagnosed with papillary type two renal cancer. As a result, he will undergo kidney surgery, in hopes to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Jesse is an extraordinarily tough individual who has overcome a great deal in his life and we will support him in any way possible,” said GM John Schneider. “He is in our thoughts and prayers.”

The 6’3” 325 pound defensive tackle originally went to Arizona Western junior college before transferring to Alabama in his junior year. Over the next two seasons, he amassed 61 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. And these numbers were enough for the Australian to get picked by the Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.

Unfortunately, he missed both the 2013 and 2014 seasons due to knee injuries: both times he was placed on the season ending injured reserve list. As a result, he was waived by the Seahawks in March, but weeks later he announced his return to the NFC West team.

As for Jesse, he remains in high spirits. “Although disappointing, I am a fighter and will handle this,” he stated in a press release. “I am going to focus on my health and fighting this battle with a return to football as my ultimate goal. Thank you for your thoughts and support. Go Hawks!”

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