DETROIT (AP) — Alex Karras' condition has deteriorated and the NFL team he played for is extending its sympathies.
The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News reported the former All-Pro defensive lineman and actor has been given only a few days to live because of recent kidney failure.
"The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras," Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement released by the team late Monday night. "Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex.
The 77-year-old Karras has been suffering from dementia. He is among the many former NFL players suing the league regarding the treatment of head injuries. Detroit drafted him 10th overall out of Iowa in 1958 and he was a standout for 12 seasons.
Karras may be even better well known for his work as an actor, including being a lovable father in the 1980s sitcom "Webster." He also played the role of Mongo in the 1974 comedy classic "Blazing Saddles," in which he said, "Mongo only pawn in game of life," and punched out a horse.
Recently, his wife said his quality of life has been made worse because of head injuries sustained during his playing career.
Susan Clark said earlier this year that her husband couldn't drive after loving to get behind the wheel and he could no longer remember recipes for some of his favorite Italian and Greek dishes he used to cook.
Clark, who also played the wife of Karras' character on "Webster," has said he was formally diagnosed with dementia several years ago and has had symptoms for more than a dozen years. She and Karras were among those who filed suit nearly six months ago in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.