NFL star player arrested after experiencing ‘medical episode,’ found wandering in traffic

Reports of a “medical episode” fueled speculation after an NFL player’s Friday arrest in Southern California.

Near the end of July, 36-year-old Jimmy Graham returned to the New Orleans Saints with a one-year contract having started his professional career with them in 2010. Weeks later and with the preseason underway, the five-time Pro Bowl player had a run-in with the law after reportedly being found wandering in traffic.

TMZ Sports included a video of Graham allegedly running from security at the team’s resort in California where he was staying ahead of a Sunday matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Fox News Digital later confirmed from Newport Beach Police Department Sgt. Steve Oberon that when law enforcement arrived, the player was arrested due to suspicion of being under the influence of a narcotic and for obstructing, delaying and resisting an officer.”

However, a statement from the Saints suggested that a health concern had been the root cause of the incident that remained under investigation.

Saturday, the team issued a press release that read, “New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham experienced a medical episode last evening, which resulted in him becoming disoriented.”

“He was taken into custody by local authorities and transported to a local hospital for evaluation for what Dr. John Amoss,” the team physician, “believes to be a likely seizure and spent the night under medical supervision and testing.”

The statement continued, “Amoss met Graham at the hospital and is overseeing his care at this time. He was released this morning and is with the team as they continue preparations for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.”

Graham had not played since his stint with the Chicago Bears had concluded in 2021, leaving him off the field for two seasons.

While an outpouring of support wishing the player well followed, so too did questions about the response from authorities and the potential ailment the otherwise healthy player had suffered.

“Cops arresting someone having a medical episode is 100% more on brand than jimmy graham wandering around the streets loaded,” contended one X user as another expressed, “There is a problem in football. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham…was found wandering in traffic. Taken into custody and to the hospital. Team physician says likely he had a seizure. Question asked: Will he play on Sunday? Really??”

Upon his return to playing for the Saints, reported Graham telling reporters, “For me, I’ve been trying to come home for a long time. Last year had some conversations and determined that I really didn’t want to play anywhere else. Had a couple teams that were reaching out — all teams that made the playoffs.”

“I just couldn’t see myself wearing another jersey. Just wanted, hopefully, if there was ever an opportunity to come back home to make it happen here. It did, and I’m here now,” he added.


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Kevin Haggerty


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