Ex-Titans And USC Star RB LenDale White Suffered “Widow-Maker” Heart Attack In 2019

Former Tennessee Titans RB and star at The University of Southern California, LenDale White, revealed he suffered from a massive heart attack in 2019. White was a guest on the “I Am Athlete Podcast” with Brandon Marshall, Adam “Pacman” Jones, and Marshawn Lynch. White’s brush with death was a wakeup call for the retired athlete.

“My (left anterior descending artery) was clogged, and I had to have two stents shot into my heart so my blood can flow again,” White said. “It’s called a widow-maker because you’re really not supposed to make it back from that.”

Near-Death Experience Changed His Life

Following the heart attack, White said he’s changed his daily habits, targeting both his physical and mental health. He told his fellow athletes that he’s working out more now than he did during his college and professional playing days. White also credited former Titans teammate Chris Johnson for helping him straighten out his mental priorities.

Former Tennessee Titans RB and star at The University of Southern California, LenDale White revealed he suffered from a massive heart attack in 2019. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

“I gave dogs 1,000 yards and was smoking kush every day and never worked out, squatted, nothing,” White said. “To go in there and be like, ‘I got to squat now for fun,’ it ain’t — you know. But s***, when you want to save your life, yeah, I’mma squat all day.”

White was drafted by the Titans in the second round out of USC in 2006 after earning All-America honors with the Trojans in 2005. He rushed for 1,302 yards and 24 TDs on 6.6 yards per carry.

Coming off of that kind of production White should’ve been a first-round selection. But the lack of care he took in maintaining his body that he referenced on the podcast hurt his draft stock. Many teams wondered if he had the desire to do what it took to succeed in the NFL.

White didn’t play much his rookie season, appearing in 13 games, rushing the ball 61 times for 244 yards and zero TDs.

During his second season he split time with Chris Brown, but after Brown was injured White received the bulk of the carries, and he had his best pro season. White rushed for 1,110 yards and seven TDs.

He only played two more seasons and was out of the league at 25.

White Flamed Out Of The NFL And Was Suicidal

Earlier this month White revealed that he battled depression, addiction, and considered suicide when his career flamed out.

“There were thoughts of suicide, I can’t lie,” White told Tennesseetitans.com. “There were thoughts of taking sleeping pills, and never waking up. I was very low. The depression, the stress, all of that had kicked in. The finances got low. When you think you’re never going to get your head above water again, there’s all kinds of things that run through your mind.

“I was messed up – popping pills, smoking weed, drinking lean. I just kept going into a deeper hole.”

Again, White credited Johnson for saving his life.

“He saved my life,” White said of Johnson to Tennesseetitans.com. “Hell yeah, he saved my life. I can honestly say that, because I was messed up. I was in my mom’s basement, and I didn’t come out for damn near nothing. I didn’t care about anything.

“Thinking about all this, it makes me get teary-eyed. Because where I was back then, it was so black for me. C.J. brought me back in, and it meant the world to me. I am so thankful for (C.J.), because I don’t know where I’d be without him. No one knows where I was when he brought me out of that black hole. I’ll forever be thankful for him. He’s like a knight in shining armor for sure.”

Between the suicidal thoughts when his career flamed out and the near-death experience with the heart attack in 2019, it seems like White has been at his lowest. Hopefully, it’s all behind him now and he’s looking forward to a healthy, productive life.

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