Normally, my esteemed FPC colleague Curtis Rawls handles the obituaries. However, this time, I wanted to view the life and times of Neiron Ball. Ball passed the way this morning at the age of 27. The Raiders linebacker and Florida Gator leaves family, friends, and friends behind. Now, I didn’t use the word former to describe Ball. While he left the Raiders in 2016, there’s nothing former to him. Roster activity doesn’t dictate that. With few recent exceptions, the word former does not apply to those that wore the Silver and Black. Despite an injury-riddled history, Neiron Ball played his heart out for the Raiders. Moreover, he fought to get to the field, in the first place.
When the Raiders drafted Neiron Ball in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, they envisioned him as possessing potential. After testing well, Ball lined up to face the Browns on September 27, 2015. Ball dropped Josh McCown and the Raiders won. More importantly, Ball achieved something that most could not claim.
While at Florida, doctors diagnosed him with Ateriovenous Malformation. Despite this, he returned to the field, fully recovered. During his rookie year in Oakland, he wound up on injured reserve. Effectively, Ball’s playing career ended.
After his career in Oakland, Ball suffered a brain aneurysm. After, doctors placed him in a medically induced come. Yet, Ball’s family and friends stuck by his side. Through the pain and suffering, Neiron Ball no longer suffers.
Whether Neiron Ball played one or twelve years, he is a Raider, forever. In a world of social media preening and taking life for granted, Neiron Ball tried his best to live his dream. While many will forget his career highlights, never forget that he tried to stay on the field. On behalf of the FPC family, we’d like to extend out condolences to Neiron Ball’s family. Raiders OT Trent Brown details his friendship with Ball, below.