Carolina Panthers

Panthers fans may hate the Saints, but you’ve got to feel for New Orleans’ long snapper

Jon Dorenbos was traded to the New Orleans Saints a month ago, and now he requires immediate open-heart surgery.
Jon Dorenbos was traded to the New Orleans Saints a month ago, and now he requires immediate open-heart surgery. AP

As divisional rivals, the Panthers and Saints have had plenty of heated moments over the years: Roman Harper’s late hit on Steve Smith in Oct. 2011; Cam Newton being mentioned as one of New Orleans’ targets in Bountygate; even Luke Keuchly’s concussion last season, which ended up costing him six games, came from trying to tackle a Saints running back.

So you wouldn’t fault Carolina fans if they harbored ill will towards the Saints. But even so, it’s impossible not to root for Saints long snapper Jon Dorenbos after Friday.

The team announced it has put Dorenbos, 37, on the non-football injury list (NFI) after a team doctor diagnosed him with an aortic aneurysm. Dorenbos will undergo immediate open-heart surgery, coach Sean Payton said, in an attempt to save his life.

“This is a pretty serious condition and not only will it require open-heart surgery, it's going to require it pretty quickly,” Payton told reporters on a conference call.

The genetic pre-existing condition generally appears in older men, and an estimated three million cases happen every year in the United States.

Dorenbos, who the Saints acquired this offseason for a 2019 seventh round pick from Philadelphia, is a 15-year veteran. In addition to his time as a long snapper, Dorenbos went on America’s Got Talent in 2016 as a magician and finished third.

Brendan Marks: 704-358-5889, @brendanrmarks

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