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