Skip to main content

Former college football, NFL star Peyton Hillis discharged from hospital

Former Arkansas and NFL running back Peyton Hillis is on the road to recovery after a swimming accident that nearly turned tragic
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Former college football and NFL running back Peyton Hillis has been discharged from the hospital more than two weeks after a swimming accident left him in critical condition and in ICU recently.

Angela Cole, Hillis' girlfriend, said that Hillis was released from a hospital in Pensacola, Fla. on Saturday.

He was reportedly seriously injured after going into the water to help rescue his children from drowning. Hillis was placed on a ventilator early on, but has made consistent progress since then.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart," Cole said on Instagram in a tribute to the medical professionals who attended to Hillis.

"I know I told you this probably 20 times a day, but you are so incredible. You all worked like a perfected machine with each and every one of you so kind, attentive, calming, and caring."

What happened?

Hillis was in the hospital since he reportedly helped in a water rescue off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., on Jan. 4 that included at least one member of his family.

Escambia Co. emergency services said that four people, including two children, were struggling in the water when someone came to their rescue and helped them back to land.

Paramedics arrived shortly afterwards and took two adults to the hospital, including one by helicopter. Authorities did not name the people involved.

But Greg Hillis, who identified himself as Hillis' uncle in a Facebook message, said that the former Arkansas player was hospitalized and having trouble with his kidneys and lungs, and Fox 24 in Fayetteville reported that Hillis was in critical condition in ICU after he helped in the rescue.

Peyton Hillis football career

Hillis came to prominence during his career at Arkansas from 2004 to 2008. He finished with 203 carries for 959 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per rush, in four seasons with the Razorbacks.

He was also a receiving threat, catching 118 passes for 1,195 yards (10.1 average) and 11 additional touchdowns.

Hillis played in the National Football League from 2008 to 2014, suiting up for the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and New York Giants.

He had an especially productive outing in Cleveland, running 270 times for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning a spot as the cover athlete for Madden 12.

As a pro, Hillis had 2,832 rushing yards while averaging 4.1 yards per carry in 81 appearances, adding 1,050 receiving yards and scoring 26 total touchdowns.


More college football from SI: Top 25 Rankings | Schedule | All Teams

Follow College Football HQ: Bookmark | Rankings | Facebook