Former NFL linebacker Geno Hayes in hospice care

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA; General view of the NFL Shield logo on the field before Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former Florida State and NFL linebacker Geno Hayes has entered hospice care because of complications from a liver-related issue, the Tallahassee Democrat reported Thursday.

“Geno’s in need of prayers. He’s fighting for his life,” said Frankie Carroll, who coached Hayes, now 33, in high school. “It’s tough. Geno’s a fun-loving guy.”

Hayes is being cared for at his mother’s home in Valdosta, Ga.

He played three seasons (2005-07) at Florida State and had 80 tackles and five sacks during his junior season. After being named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference in 2007, he declared for the NFL draft.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. He played four seasons with the Bucs, followed by stints with the Chicago Bears (2012) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-14).

His best season came in 2009, when he had 98 tackles (15 for loss), three sacks, 12 quarterback hits, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 15 games (13 starts).

He had 401 tackles and 10 sacks in 101 career NFL games (70 starts).

Hayes’ condition apparently took a turn for the worse in the past few weeks.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow,” said Billy Ray Reddick, who played with Hayes at Madison County High School in Florida.

–Field Level Media