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Retired NFL star needs transplant

The Associated Press

Buccaneers defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (95) talks with former teammate Titans kicker Rob Bironas (2) after their game in Nashville on Nov. 27, 2011.

The Associated PressFormer Tennessee Titans All-Pro defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth said on social media that he needs a kidney transplant.

The 38-year-old Haynesworth posted on Instagram that he’s been battling kidney disease for a few years. He shared a photo of himself in a hospital bed and wrote that his kidneys failed him Sunday and he’s looking for a donor.

“It’s hard to believe from being a professional athlete to only 8 [seasons into] retirement that my body has taken another major blow,” Haynesworth said in the post.

Haynesworth added that he’s “in dire need of a kidney.”

Haynesworth played 10 seasons in the NFL. He spent his first seven seasons with the Titans, who selected him No. 15 overall in the 2002 draft out of the University of Tennessee. Haynesworth also played for Washington (2009-10), New England (2011) and Tampa Bay (2011).

He was selected as an All-Pro after the 2007 and 2008 seasons and had 30½ sacks in 123 games.

Haynesworth had his greatest season in 2008, when he had 8½ sacks while leading the Titans to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC before they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional playoffs.

This isn’t the first health problem Haynesworth has faced since leaving the NFL.

Haynesworth told a Nashville radio station in 2016 that he dealt with a brain aneurysm in November 2014 that caused him to spend time in intensive care.

Smith slapped with 4-game ban

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.

Smith is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to the team Sept. 30, after Tampa Bay’s Week 4 game at the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams.

“We are disappointed that Ryan will be unavailable for the first four games of the season,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement.

“We do extensive training and education for our players regarding the league’s polices, but ultimately each individual is responsible for what they put in their bodies.”

Smith is entering his fourth NFL season with the Buccaneers. He was a fourth-round pick in 2016 by Tampa Bay.

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