O'Leary Sidelined, Not Retired

Alain Poupart

It seems reports of former Dolphins tight end Nick O'Leary's retirement were off the mark, according to a story in the Palm Beach Post.

The Las Vegas Raiders placed O'Leary on the reserve/non-injury list this spring two months after signing him as a free agent, but that was because of a heart issue that will force him to sit out the 2020 season.

O'Leary recently underwent two procedures to unblock what was 100 percent blockage of an artery.

O'Leary has sustained no damage to his heart and should be able to return to football next year, according to the story by Post writer Tom D'Angelo.

"I feel good," O'Leary said. "I feel better than I did before. I've got to be on blood thinners for six months to a year. That's really the only reason now why I can't play football. If I (got cut), they said that would be the biggest problem, wouldn't be able to stop the bleeding.

“If they still give me the opportunity to play next year, I’d love to."

O'Leary played 19 games with nine starts for the Dolphins over a season-plus after first joining the team on the practice squad in September 2018.

He caught four passes last season for Miami but was released the day after a pass went through his hands and ended up being intercepted in the Monday night loss at Pittsburgh.

He finished out the 2019 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

O'Leary, the grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus, said he first experienced pain in his chest while working out and later while playing pickleball with his brother.

“I got all these friends, I’m in better shape than they’re in, I’m working out, I feel like I’m in good shape,” O'Leary told the Post. “For it to happen to me, I was in shock. I didn’t think that’s what it would be. For that to happen and me ending up being in the hospital for three days and having a heart issue is pretty weird.”

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