Heading into training camp there was quite a bit of buzz surrounding former Patriots wide receiver Donald Jones, who after leaving Buffalo seemed to have an opportunity here in New England to become the player many thought he could be in this league.
Some felt that a change of scenery and an All-Pro quarterback might be enough to bring out more from the former Bills receiver, and with a fresh start against no real incumbent receivers Jones had an opportunity to shine in Foxboro.
Instead that never materialized, and while there was speculation about the reason surrounding his departure after the team released him, and the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe pointed out a post from Jones’ official Twitter account today that revealed he’s battling a kidney disease that will now force him to retire from the league.
“As some of you may know, I have been suffering from a kidney disease throughout my entire life. As a result of recent advances in my disease, I am no longer able to pursue my career in the National Football League. Playing in the NFL was a lifelong dream of mine, and thought I have the opportunity to continue my career, stepping away from the game is absolutely the best decision for my family and for my health. While it will be difficult, I am comforted by the love and support of my family, friends and doctors and am excited about my continued involvement with the various kidney foundations I’ve worked with in raising awareness for health, nutrition, preventative medicine, and kidney disease. I want to thank the Buffalo Bills organization, especially Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix, for allowing me to pursue my NFL dream and Coach Gailey for changing my life. I also want to thank the New England Patriots and their doctors for assisting my medical team in fighting this disease. Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.”