Former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras reportedly has just days to live. According to multiple reports, the 77-year-old is suffering from kidney failure and dementia.
Lions president, Tom Lewand, released this statement on Monday (via NFL.com):
"The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras. Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex.
"We know Alex first and foremost as one of the cornerstones to our Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s and also as one of the greatest defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL. Many others across the country came to know Alex as an accomplished actor and as an announcer during the early years of Monday Night Football.
"We join his legions of fans from both sports and entertainment in prayer and support for Alex, his wife Susan, and his entire family during this most difficult time."
Karras played for the Lions from 1958 to 1962, and then from 1964 to 1970. He earned four Pro-Bowl selections between 1959 and 1965, and was named to the 1960s All Decade NFL Team.
He retired in 1970 at the age of 35.
Off the field, Karras is best known for his portrayal of Mongo in the 1974 classic, Blazing Saddles.