Former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has informed teams that he is managing epilepsy, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelisserro.
Fields was diagnosed with the neurological disorder as a child and has seen his symptoms get shorter and more infrequent over time, according to NFL Network.
The disorder, which can cause cause seizures, has not impacted Fields's football career and doctors are confident he'll grow out of it over time, NFL Network reports. Fields, according to the report, takes medication for the diagnosis.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, affecting 3.4 million people. According to NFL Network, other members of Fields's family have also been diagnosed with epilepsy.
Fields is projected to be among the first quarterbacks selected in the 2021 NFL draft. In Sports Illustrated's latest mock draft, Fields was slotted to go No. 3 to the 49ers.
"[Head coach Kyle Shanahan] likes to keep things close to the vest, so there have not been a lot of legitimate tea leaves to read," SI's Jenny Vrentas writes in the latest draft projection. "But you only make that big of a jump if you are going after a truly special player, and the 22-year-old Fields in Shanahan’s bootleg/play-action scheme is a tantalizing pairing."
Fields would not be the first NFL player to deal with an epilepsy diagnosis, including Hall of Fame guard Alan Faneca, who took medication to control seizures throughout his career.
The 2021 NFL draft will begin on April 29.
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