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Jerome Harrison Brain Tumor Cancels Trade, Saves Life

Jerome Harrison learned that he has a brain tumor in time to save his life.

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter:

As Philadelphia Eagles doctors were giving newly acquired running back Jerome Harrison his physical, they discovered a brain tumor that nullified a trade with the Detroit Lions, according to two league sources.

The trade might have might have actually saved Harrison’s life, the sources said. Without the deal being made, Harrison would not have undergone a physical. The tumor is now being treated, according to sources.


Harrison is not expected to play again this season, but his long-term prognosis both for life and his football career appear to be good, sources said. He is visiting with more doctors Thursday.

Life has an interesting way of unfolding. Sometimes, it’s even good.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. alkali says:

    I wonder what kind of testing that you would perform on a running back in the course of a trade physical would bring up indications of a brain tumor. The ESPN article doesn’t say.

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  2. @alkali:

    Given the problems NFL teams are having with liability for repeated concussions, I wouldn’t be suprised if a CAT scan is part of the standard physical now.

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  3. clivesl says:

    With the recent emphasis on concussions they probably did a brain scan for a baseline. I know everyone undergoes those at the start of the season, perhaps it’s standard as part of a trade physical as well?

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  4. Drew says:

    Wow. Can you say l-u-c-k?

    May his treatment be effective.

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  5. de stijl says:

    I’m such a dork that when I read the headline I thought you were talking about the guitarist for the Talking Heads.

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  6. Franklin says:

    Coincidentally, the Lions were supposed to get Ronnie Brown because their other main back, Jahvid Best just suffered his second concussion of the season. As a part-time Lions fan, I was a bit disappointed when I first heard the trade was canceled, but now of course am perfectly fine, given the reasons.

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  7. cfull says:

    the doctor likely found something abnormal diring the normal physical that warranted further workup. CAT scans expose the body to too much radiation to do them without a valid reason, and MRIs are too expensive to do and so must be similarly justified. The nerd in me must know what kind of tumor it is…

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  8. Jay says:

    @cfull: CT scans are certainly warranted in NFL athletes despite the radiation, because they are a population that is constantly at risk for head injury. One non-contrast head scan per year for a ten-year career is not a lot of radiation. In any event, I imagine the NFL is fine with paying for MRI’s.

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  9. Scott O. says:

    Symptoms of a problem could have been detected during a vision test. Many years ago I had a brain tumor, a meningioma to be specific. Pressure on the optic nerve affected my vision. It starts with a gradual loss of peripheral vision, in my case in one eye for at least a year before it started affecting the other eye. We don’t know any details of Mr. Harrison’s situation but he could have had something like that going on and never notice it. Loss of peripheral isn’t obvious.

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