Former NFL star Peyton Hillis is reportedly in intensive care after saving his kids from drowning.
A family member stated Thursday that his health is improving after the accident in Pensacola, Florida but that he’s still unconscious. Peyton’s kids are reportedly safe.
“I just wanted to let everyone know on Razorback Nation that Peyton is doing better,” Peyton’s uncle, Greg Hillis wrote on his Facebook page.
“He’s still in intensive care and having some problems with his kidneys and his lungs but the doctors say he is improving.”
“I just wanted to head off any rumors that may be started,” Greg continued. “I’m sure he would want everyone to know that he appreciates all of the prayers thrown up on his behalf!!!”
Fox 24 anchor Alyssa Orange, who covers the Razorbacks, reported that Hillis, 36, was helicoptered to the hospital after the reported beach tragedy.
“He remains unconscious in the ICU,” she wrote Thursday on her Twitter page after an initial share from Greg Hillis. “Family asks to please pray for him and a speedy recovery.”
The former running back played in the NFL from 2008-2014 with the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants. He also graced the cover of the Madden ’12 video game and has since taken up acting.
Hillis is reported to be currently dating actress Angela Cole, his co-star from the indie thriller The Hunting, and shares two children with his ex-wife Amanda Hillis.
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Fans have flooded the ex-baller’s Instagram page with prayers, hearts and overall well wishes.
“Praying for you big dawg, you did what any father would do… get well soon,” one fan wrote.
“Praying for you and your family,” another follower commented. “You should be proud … your kids are safe 🙌”
In an Instagram post from last year, Hillis is shown playing a football video game with his 9-year-old son.
“You can take the man out of the game… but you can’t take the game out of the man,” the dad-of-two wrote. “Grateful to know I can still kick somebody’s a** in football… even if it is my 9 year old son.”
Still closely following the sport, the Arkansas native came out with a podcast called In the Backfield, using his expert knowledge of the sport for commentary. Admitting that his favorite team is the Cleveland Browns, who he played for “in the backfield” from 2010-2011, Hillis told WKYC Channel 3 in 2020 about his love for the franchise and what it feels like “to be a Brown.”
“The Browns sum me up as a person. I love that they are old school,” he said, noting he enjoyed living in Cleveland. “Everything about them is the epitome of who I am. There’s something about being a Brown that just envelops your soul, it makes you feel like you are loved. It’s the best therapy session you could ever be in.”
PEOPLE has reached out to all parties for confirmation and updates on the tragedy.