NFL Star Peyton Hillis in ICU after Rescuing Kids from Drowning

Former NFL running back Peyton Hillis has been hospitalized after he reportedly saved children from drowning off the Florida coast.

Hillis, who retired in 2014 after his seven-year career in the league, was unconscious after the rescue in Pensacola, according to KNWA reporter Alyssa Orange.

The Arkansas native helped save one of his kids and another family member, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.

“One of Peyton’s children and the child of one of his other relatives went out too far in the ocean, and Peyton and another relative went out to save them, which they did,” former Arkansas Razorback football player Marvin Caston told the Democrat Gazette. “But Peyton got a lot of salt water in his lungs and nearly drowned.”

Greg Hillis, who is reportedly the uncle of the former running back, said he is “doing better.”

“He’s still in intensive care and having some problems with his kidneys and his lungs, but the doctors say he is improving,” Greg Hillis said on Facebook on Thursday, Jan. 5.

Hillis, 36, played for the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants during his career. His breakthrough season came in 2010, when he rushed for 1,177 yards with 11 touchdowns for the Browns.

Following that season, he was voted by fans as the cover athlete for EA Sports’ Madden NFL 12 video game.

Mike Stunson covers real-time news for McClatchy. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter and the Lexington Herald-Leader as a breaking news reporter.

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