Raiders’ Nick O’Leary Recovering from Heart Surgery

Darin Alexander Baydoun

Tight end Nick O’Leary, the grandson of golf great Jack Nicklaus, signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in March but was put on the reserve/non-football injury list recently after the Raiders announced he had retired.

The reason for that has been revealed, as O’Leary said he was recovering from heart surgery to clear a 100 percent blockage in an artery after suffering a heart attack last month. 

O’Leary was selected in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida State by the Buffalo Bills. Over the past five seasons he played for Buffalo, Miami, and Jacksonville before coming to the Raiders in March.

O’Leary, in an interview with the Palm Beach Post, said doctors told him there’s no damage to his heart and that there could be a chance to play again next year, possibly for the Raiders if they were to keep a spot open for him.

It all started when O’Leary felt pain in his left arm that moved to his chest when he was working out and again when he was playing pickleball with his brother last month.

“I said sarcastically to my brother there’s something wrong with my heart, I don’t know what it is,” O’Leary said, via the post. “I happened to go to the hospital, and they told me it was a heart attack.

“I got all of these friends; I’m in better shape than they’re in, I’m working out, I feel like I’m in good shape. 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.”

O’Leary also said he had two stents, which are tubes inserted into blocked passageways like blood vessels to keep them open, placed in the blocked artery. Since this, O’Leary has said he feels “better than before” and has started his recovery with golf, biking and light workouts. 

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