Report: Former Cleveland Browns runner Peyton Hillis hospitalized after swimming accident

Hillis was reportedly injured while rescuing drowning children.

Pensacola, Florida. Former Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis is reportedly in intensive care at a Pensacola, Fla., hospital after a swimming accident on Wednesday.

Hillis, 36, who was on the cover of the EA Sports Madden NFL 12 video game, was reportedly injured while saving his children from drowning. According to Escambia County Public Safety Commissioner Davis Wood, rescuers found a swimmer in distress in the waters off Pensacola Beach at noon.

Hillis was rescued by two rescuers and one fireman. Authorities say Hillis assisted four swimmers who were “in distress.” By the time rescuers arrived, all four people had returned to shore. Hillis was flown by helicopter to the district hospital and another adult was flown by an Escambia ambulance.

Greg Hillis, Peyton Hillis’ uncle, posted the following on Facebook: “I just wanted to let everyone at Razorback Nation know that Peyton is feeling better. He’s still in intensive care with kidney and lung problems, but doctors say he’s getting better. I just wanted to prevent any rumors that might be started. I’m sure he would like everyone to know that he appreciates all the prayers offered on his behalf!!”

On Friday morning, the Cleveland Browns shared the following tweet from Arkansas Razorback Football.

Hillis joined the Browns in 2010 after a deal with the Denver Broncos. In his first season in Cleveland, Hillis rushed for 1,177 yards and added 477 receiving yards for a total of 13 touchdowns. After his monstrous season, Hillis beat out stars like Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick and Matt Ryan for the prestigious Madden video game cover. The following year, Hillis’ performance plummeted, totaling 717 rushing and receiving yards with just three touchdowns. Hillis became a free agent after the 2011 campaign.

The 7th-round pick from Arkansas played in 81 NFL games in his eight-year career, which also included stoppages in Kansas City and New York with the Giants.

Hillis spoke with 3News’ Jim Donovan in a 2020 interview. You can watch it below:

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