Bears great Steve McMichael is responding to medication in the hospital, family says

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bears great Steve McMichael, who has ALS, was responding to antibiotics after being hospitalized because of a urinary tract infection and is expected to be released in the coming days, his family said in a statement on Friday.

McMichael, who was admitted into intensive care at a suburban Chicago hospital on Thursday, was also having fluid removed from his lungs. “Continued prayers are appreciated,” his family said.

The 66-year-old McMichael was hospitalized one week after being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is scheduled to be inducted Aug. 3 as part of a class that includes former Bears Julius Peppers and Devin Hester.

McMichael told the Chicago Tribune in April 2021 he had the condition known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which attacks nerve cells that control muscles throughout the body.

“I promise you, this epitaph that I’m going to have on me now? This ain’t ever how I envisioned this was going to end,” McMichael told the Tribune.

McMichael, who controlled the interior of the line for the Bears’ famed “46 defense,” was an All-Pro during the 1985 Super Bowl championship season and in 1987. He played in a franchise-record 191 consecutive games from 1981 to 1993 and ranks second to Hall of Famer Richard Dent on the Bears’ all-time sacks list with 92 1/2. His final season was with Green Bay in 1994.

Whether he was terrorizing opponents or discussing the Bears on sports talk radio, the man known as “Ming The Merciless” and “Mongo” after the character in “Blazing Saddles” who knocked out a horse remained a prominent presence in Chicago long after his playing days ended. He also spent five years in professional wrestling in the late 1990s.