Penn State RB Journey Brown retires from football due to heart issue

Penn State football (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Penn State football (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The promising running back had to announce his retirement from football due to a heart issue

As the Penn State Nittany Lions prepared for their 2020 season amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the team announced that running back Journey Brown would be held out due to an undisclosed and recently discovered medical condition. As it turns out, sadly, the health issue is a career-ender.

On Wednesday, Brown revealed on Twitter that he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and is medically retiring from the game of football.

Heart issue discovered through COVID-19 test

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is “a disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick,” which makes “it harder for the heart to pump blood,” per the Mayo Clinic.

Head coach James Franklin revealed that Brown’s heart issue was discovered after undergoing a COVID-19 test in September. After consulting with a variety of doctors and medical experts, it was determined that Brown should not continue playing football.

Brown emerged as the team’s starting running back last season after Miles Sanders declared for the 2019 NFL Draft. In 13 games, Brown rushed for a total of 890 yards and 12 touchdowns on 129 carries, while catching 15 passes for 134 yards and a score. His last official game came in the Cotton Bowl, where he rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in Penn State’s victory over Memphis.

As Brown says in his social media post, his dream was to make it into the NFL, and he had the skills to do so. While its upsetting that his football career is over, Brown can take solace in the fact that he gave it his all for the Nittany Lions.

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