Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase reveals he needed asthma pumps while battling COVID-19

Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY
·2 min read

Former LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, a projected first-round pick in the NFL draft, revealed Thursday he had COVID-19 and had trouble breathing, which led to his decision to opt out of the 2020-21 college football season.

In an interview with NFL Network's Jane Slater, Chase said he needed asthma pumps while dealing with the virus.

"That's what really made me think about my decision the most, 'cause I couldn't breathe as much and I was even using asthma pumps, and I haven't had asthma since I was a kid.

"I'm just trying to look at my health in the long experience and make sure I'm in good health," Chase told Slater.

TOO GOOD: NFL teams couldn't forget Ja'Marr Chase, even after he opted out of 2020 season

Ja'Marr Chase last played in LSU's national championship win over Clemson in 2020.
Ja'Marr Chase last played in LSU's national championship win over Clemson in 2020.

Chase didn't say when he was diagnosed with the virus, but it played a factor in him deciding to sit out LSU's season. Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron said in September that most players on the team had contracted the virus. Orgeron told Slater in the same interview that Chase "was crying. He was almost hysterical" when the wide receiver informed him of the decision to sit out.

Chase is projected to be selected by Cincinnati Bengals with No. 5 overall pick in the USA TODAY Sports mock draft.

Former Minnesota standout Rashod Bateman, another star in this year's wide receiver draft class, also dealt with COVID-19. He was one of many potential first-round picks who opted out of the college football season, including offensive tackle Penei Sewell and linebacker Micah Parsons.

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ja'Marr Chase struggled with breathing while dealing with COVID-19