Former Tennessee Titans linebacker Tim Shaw, who was diagnosed with ALS in April 2014, signed a one-day contract with the team and was named a “Titan for life” by the organization Wednesday.

Titans Sign Former LB Tim Shaw, Who Fights ALS, To One-Day Contract

He spoke to the entire team earlier this week.

“It means the world to have this organization behind me,” Shaw told the team’s website. “It is going to make a difference in my life, but really it is going to make a difference in more peoples’ lives because the ALS community needs recognition and we need support like this. … It really does mean the world.”

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons, cells that control the muscles.

The 32-year-old linebacker played in the NFL for Carolina (2007), Jacksonville (2008), Chicago (2009) and Tennessee (2010-12). He played in every game during his three seasons with the Titans, and also served as a special teams captain.

Shaw announced his diagnosis in a video posted on the Titans’ website in the summer of 2014 and then poured ice water over his head as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness to fight ALS.

Shaw’s mother, father, brother and sister-in-law joined him Wednesday at the team’s recently remodeled headquarters. The LB referred to the Titans as his family.


 “I could tell by the look on his face how honored he is to be a Titan for life and to realize he is making a difference in not just our lives, but the lives of players here and beyond,” his dad, John Shaw, said.

“For me, it is sad because I realize one of the reasons he is here is because of the disease he has, and that is just hard. He is dealing with it in the most honorable, wonderful way. But without that, realizing he probably wouldn’t be here and doing this, that just made me sad today, too.”

Titans tight end Delanie Walker, linebacker Brian Orakpo and special teams coach Bobby April were among the first to see Shaw, and they jumped up. Within moments, all the players were on their feet, giving Shaw fist bumps and hugs.
“It was special,’’ Shaw said. “It just brought me back to those days when you are working alongside the guys and it made me feel like I was back in the heat of training camp with them. Just to be accepted so warmly and with love only football players can feel.”

Tim Shaw was drafted by the Panthers in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Penn State. In his career, he recorded 127 tackles and three forced fumbles.

NASHVILLE, TN – AUGUST 30: Tim Shaw #59 of the Tennessee Titans runs on defense against the New Orleans Saints at LP Field on August 30, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

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