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Kansas City Chiefs' BJ Thompson, 25, 'still unconscious' after sudden cardiac arrest

The defensive end had a medical emergency during a team meeting

Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
June 7, 2024
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Kansas City Chiefs player BJ Thompson is "still unconscious" after suffering a cardiac arrest during a special teams meeting on Thursday. 

The backup defensive end, 25, experienced a seizure before going into cardiac arrest. While he was taken to the hospital via ambulance and is reported to be in stable condition, he has yet to wake up. 

bj thompson kansas city chiefs© Getty Images
BJ suffered a cardiac arrest

"BJ is still unconscious at this point, but he's stable and vitals are good," his agent Chris Turnage told the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero on Thursday night. 

"His family asks for your continued prayers," he added.

BJ's agent was also the one to break the news of his medical emergency, writing on X: "The Chiefs canceled all team activities today after a backup defensive lineman had a seizure in a special teams meeting and went into cardiac arrest, per sources. 

"The team's medical staff worked quickly, an ambulance was called and the player is currently in stable condition," he added. 

bj thompson playing against chargers january 2024© Getty Images
BJ played his first game for the Chiefs in January 2024

While practice was canceled for the day, with BJ in stable condition, the Chiefs honored their commitment to host the second annual Kansas City charity softball game on Thursday evening. 

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo spoke about his player's condition during the event, telling Fox4KC: "Let me say this before I say anything, I'm thinking about BJ right now. It was scary. I think the guys were a little bit scared, I know I was."

Praising the staff who stepped in to help BJ, he continued:  "But a lot of praying and [head athletic trainer] Rick [Burkholder] and his staff did a terrific job. 

bj thompson kansas city chiefs against chargers january 2024© Getty Images
BJ registered two tackles in his first game

"But everybody you know, to a man to a person to a woman, because we have some female trainers, they were terrific, they did a great job. So, we'll keep our fingers crossed. I'll let Andy handle the rest of that." 

Head coach Andy Reid has yet to publicly address BJ's condition, but he is reportedly expected to speak to the media on Friday. 

bj thompson kissing super bowl trophy february 2024© Instagram
The Chiefs won the Super Bowl in February 2024

BJ was selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2023 draft from Stephen F. Austin University in Texas. He has played once for the team as a rookie, against the Los Angeles Chargers in January. 

Speaking about being picked by the Chiefs last May, BJ said: "I just want to put on for my town and show them that anything is possible, no matter where you come from. Hopefully, I am accomplishing that. 

bj thompson nfl draft kansas city chiefs© Instagram
BJ was a fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft

"Me and my friends, we all had dreams and goals of NFL, NBA but along the lines, dreams kind of die off and people get other plans."

He added: "For me, it never really did. I always had in the back of my head I was going to play professional sports and I was blessed enough to make it happen."

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