Report: Former Lions great Alex Karras suffering from kidney failure

10:16 AM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
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Allen Park, MI (Sports Network) - Former Detroit Lions great Alex Karras is reportedly suffering from kidney failure and has only a few days to live.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Karras was released from a California hospital over the weekend and is home under hospice care.

The Lions released a statement regarding the 77-year-old former defensive tackle.

"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," said Lions president Tom Lewand late Monday night.

"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 was selected by the Lions with the 10th overall pick of the 1958 NFL Draft out of Iowa and went on to play 12 seasons. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and was a member of the NFL's 1960s All-Decade Team, despite missing the 1963 season as a suspension for alleged gambling.

After his playing days ended in 1970, Karras embarked on an acting career. He is best-remembered for his roles as Mongo in "Blazing Saddles" and as the father in the 1980s television sitcom "Webster."

Karras is one of many former players who have taken part in a concussion lawsuit filed against the NFL.

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