Bernie Kosar: NFL Legend and Super Bowl Winner Reveals He Is Battling Parkinson's and Liver Failure and Would Need Transplant

In January, doctors informed Kosar that he would likely need a liver transplant before his health declined again in February.

Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar has revealed that he is facing several health challenges, including liver failure and Parkinson's disease. The 60-year-old ex-Cleveland Browns player shared his struggles, saying that an "independent NFL doctor" diagnosed him with Parkinson's disease in February. He was also placed on a liver transplant list in late spring.

He told Cleveland Magazine that his body "gave out" while he was attending the Browns' game against the New York Jets on December 28. Kosar's also said that his health has shown recent improvement, according to his doctors. Throughout his 12 NFL seasons with the Browns, Dolphins, and Cowboys, Kosar amassed 23,301 passing yards and 124 touchdowns.

Grim Health Update

Bernie Kosar
Bernie Kosar X

"I wish you could have seen me three months ago,'' Kosar said, recalling a point in March when he looked unrecognizable. "Actually, maybe not, because I looked like death. I felt like death. E. Coli blood poisoning. Heart trouble. And I really thought I needed the liver transplant ASAP. I was in bad shape.''

"I really felt like I wasn't going to make it home from the Jets game," Kosar said. "I sucked it up, though, and continued to avoid the doctors until the new year. Then I went into the hospital and got a massive blood transfusion.

"It was like: 'How are you alive? How are you moving? Because your hemoglobin levels are so low."

In January, doctors informed Kosar that he would likely need a liver transplant before his health declined again in February. Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic, said that there is a 90 percent chance Kosar will require a transplant.

During Super Bowl events in Las Vegas, the former quarterback's condition deteriorated, necessitating several days in the hospital.

"Liver disease does tend to fluctuate," Dr. Anthony Post, a hepatologist for University Hospitals who has been treating Kosar, told the outlet. "So he's on that wave thing where it goes up and down. He's in a good phase right now, but anything bad could happen."

A Legend in Trouble

Bernie Kosar
Bernie Kosar X

Chosen by Cleveland in the first round of the 1985 supplemental draft, Kosar led the Browns to the playoffs in his debut season. He earned a Pro Bowl selection in 1988.

In 1994, Kosar won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys as a backup to Troy Aikman after spending one season with Dallas.

Before his professional career, Kosar led the Miami Hurricanes to a national championship in 1983, his first season as a starter.

In January, doctors informed Kosar that he would likely need a liver transplant.

"Remarkably — you know, he takes a lot of supplements, he's been exercising and has been on a good diet and is taking the medications that we've prescribed him and we've been following him pretty closely so — he's really gotten a lot better," Post said.

Kosar said that he feels good and is staying positive. "It's amazing that you can feel as good as I do despite all this stuff going on. I can see that what I'm doing is making a difference. I strongly believe it will continue. Time will tell," he said.