May 14, 2018 / 4:37 PM / in 10 months

Ailing former linebacker Millen might need heart transplant

File photo: Detroit Lions President and CEO Matt Millen (L) and team owner William Clay Ford chat before the start of their NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Detroit, Michigan in this September 14, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/Files

Matt Millen is ailing and might need a heart transplant to survive a rare condition that has caused the former NFL linebacker, broadcaster and team executive to lose 50 pounds.

According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, Millen was diagnosed with amyloidosis, an aggressive organ-attacking disease often misdiagnosed because of its ability to mimic other common ailments, such as Lyme Disease.

To counteract the disease, Millen is undergoing chemotherapy treatment and lost 50 pounds in the past year.

“We’re in the fourth quarter of a big football game. We’re down 13. Playing defense. It’s getting late. We need a stop. We need a big stop,” Millen told King.

Millen, 60, said the amyloid protein was embedding in his bone marrow and the walls of his heart. A heart transplant could be necessary.

Millen won four Super Bowls in his NFL career with the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins and after a broadcasting role, he served as team president of the Detroit Lions from 2001-2008. Millen returned to broadcasting, working college football games, after being fired four weeks into the 2008 season.

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