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Packers RB/WR Ty Montgomery missed game due to sickle cell trait

Green Bay Packers running back/receiver Ty Montgomery missed the team’s game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. His absence was surprising at the time, but Montgomery’s agent Damarius Bilbo released a statement detailing why.

Since he was at Stanford, Montgomery has been known to be a carrier of the sickle cell trait. Following Green Bay’s Week 7 win over the Chicago Bears, symptoms began to show.

“After that matchup, Ty discovered the presence of blood in his urine,” Bilbo said in his statement, which was tweeted by ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “The doctors informed me that this symptom could be connected to his kidney being impacted. While already traveling to Dallas, Texas to visit family, he went to a local hospital to be evaluated. Ty spent 16 hours under observation between late Friday night and Saturday. Although not proven, there could be a link between his physical activity in the contest against the Bears, the impact on his kidney, and his disorder.”

In the same statement, Bilbo also detailed Montgomery’s exploits on the field while at Stanford. Even better, for the sake of Montgomery’s career, he explained that since the retirement of Ryan Clark, progress has been made.

“There has been medical advancement in the area of overseeing players who carry this trait, especially since the Ryan Clark case. Ty will continue to monitor his situation and be an active contributor to the Green Bay Packers. Ty doesn’t want to take away from the success of the team, and feels no need to answer additional questions on this matter.”

That indeed puts his absence into a proper perspective. We generally think of athletes being held out of games when hurt. But this is potentially a life threatening matter if not properly dealt with.