Vince Wilfork gave Donald Jones quite a shot in a previous meeting back in 2012. (USA TODAY Images)
Fans in New England saw former Buffalo Bills receiver Donald Jones sign a 3-year contract that was mysteriously never realized, only to find out later the receiver never took the field for the Patriots thanks to health reasons.
At the time it wasn’t really known what sidelined the veteran, and his retirement from the NFL raised an eyebrow from those who were hoping to see him succeed catching passes from Tom Brady, especially considering how his exit unfolded.
Upon further review, his condition was apparently more serious than most could have imagined. Â According to the Democrat and Chronicle, Jones underwent a life-saving kidney transplant four months ago, which stemmed from an autoimmune disease affecting his kidneys called Berger’s Syndrome.
Oddly enough, it was reportedly a visit to a kidney specialist after signing in New England that revealed that dialysis or a transplant were his only options.
He took the transplant, and received a kidney from his father.
Now here he is, pursuing a new dream and trying out for the Somerset Patriots of the Independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. It’s disappointing that he never got to show what he could do here in New England, but it’s hard not to wish him well and hope things work out.
Jones admittedÂ that he’s always loved baseball, but it was the football atmosphere that caused him to initially pursue the sport that he was forced to walk away from.
âMy love of baseball started back when I was little,â Jones told the newspaper. âI played Little League, and I played all the way through high school. But I just loved the football atmosphere, so I really stuck with football. Plus, it was a faster route to the NFL than baseball would have been getting to the big leagues. I liked scoring touchdowns and I liked dancing in the end zone, so I stuck with it. But I always loved baseball.â