Ex-NFL Player Admitted to ICU Weeks After Election to Hall of Fame

Steve McMichael, the former defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears, was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) last Thursday due to a urinary tract infection. However, his condition is reportedly improving after receiving antibiotic treatment, according to Jarrett Payton, son of the iconic Chicago running back Walter Payton, and McMichael’s family. The 66-year-old McMichael is also scheduled to undergo thoracentesis, a procedure to drain fluid from his lungs.

McMichael’s hospitalization comes on the heels of his recent election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2024. This recognition was shared with two other former Bears stars, Devin Hester and Julius Peppers, who were also selected for the upcoming induction ceremony.

McMichael was initially taken to Silver Cross Hospital with a fever and suspected pneumonia, as reported by ABC7 Chicago. However, his family later clarified that he was battling a urinary tract infection. McMichael’s illustrious 13-year career with the Bears saw him record 92.5 sacks between 1981 and 1993, contributing significantly to Chicago’s only Super Bowl victory in franchise history as part of the legendary 1985 defense. He also holds a Bears record for appearing in 191 consecutive games.

However, since 2021, McMichael has been fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a diagnosis he received in January of that year at the age of 63, according to the Bears’ official website. He was admitted to the ICU at Silver Cross Hospital in August with sepsis and pneumonia. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, attacks nerve cells that control muscles throughout the body.

Despite his inability to move or speak independently, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, McMichael’s recent Hall of Fame election was a moment of celebration. When the Class of 2024 members were announced, people gathered around McMichael at his home, cheering and applauding as cameras captured the moment. Richard Dent, a former Bears teammate and current Hall of Famer, delivered the news via FaceTime to McMichael and his wife, Misty.

Misty McMichael expressed her joy at the announcement from the NFL Honors ceremony in Los Angeles, stating, “In the NFL world, we’ve known he should’ve been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago. But I wanted the whole world to know. And now, finally, the whole world knows. Forever and ever.”