23-Year-Old NFL Rookie to Miss Remainder of Season After Doctors Discover Multiple Blood Clots


Another young person has come down with blood clots, lengthening the list of patients diagnosed with clots in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines developed to combat it.

This time, however, the victim’s condition can be blamed, at least in part, on “factor V Leiden,” which the Mayo Clinic describes as “a mutation of one of the clotting factors in the blood.” Factor V Leinden is hereditary.

Doctors found blood clots in the right leg and lung of New York Jets offensive tackle Max Mitchell, a 23-year-old rookie from the University of Louisiana, ESPN reported. The Jets put him on the non-football injury list and say he won’t be back until next season.

Mitchell wasn’t supposed to play much this season, but injuries to other players saw him with more playing time in regular season games ahead of plan. Sunday was his fifth start this year.

Mitchell was pulled from that game during the second quarter, however, because he had been “struggling,” according to Jets head coach Robert Saleh.

Missing 17-Year-Old Girl Found Dead After 'Devastating, Mind-Blowing' Discovery Next Door Brings Months-Long Search to an End

Mitchell’s father, John Mitchell, said the player had been experiencing trouble breathing as well as some pain in his side.

At first, muscle spasms were thought to be the culprit, but further testing after his symptoms failed to subside revealed the blood clots.

“It should not affect his career long term,” John Mitchell told ESPN. “Of course, we’re taking a big, great deep breath with all of this, but his future is promising.”

Mitchell was put on blood thinners and may remain on them for months to come, however.

Mitchell started the first four games of the season, but a knee injury put him back on the bench for the next six. His symptoms started to show themselves after the Jets’ game against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 27.

“Most people with factor V Leiden never develop abnormal clots,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “But in people who do, these abnormal clots can lead to long-term health problems or become life-threatening.”

COVID-19 has been associated with increased risk of blood clots; the evidence connecting clots with COVID vaccines is less conclusive.

No information regarding Mitchell’s COVID or vaccination history was reported.

NFL players were not required to be vaccinated this season, according to NBC Sports, all of the league’s COVID protocols having been in March.

Ex-NFL Star Drew Brees Reveals He Will Never Be the Same After 2005 Injury

However, The Associated Press reported at that time that about 95 percent of NFL players and almost 100 percent of other team personal had been vaccinated, according to information provided to the outlet by the NFL.

Mitchell graduated from the University of Louisiana earlier this year. According to the university’s Office of Student Health Services website, “students are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a physician’s certification that the vaccine is medically contraindicated, or a written dissent.”

A number of patients with blood clots have made headlines recently, including student athletes and, perhaps most notably, well-known weatherman Al Roker.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , ,
George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics