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Star Cincinnati Bearcat Dontay Corleone Out Indefinitely

Dontay Corleone
© Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer

Star All-American defensive lineman Dontay Corleone for the Cincinnati Bearcats will be out indefinitely with a non-football-related illness he suffered earlier in June. Corleone was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs after he told Cincinnati's athletic training staff that he had discomfort and shortness of breath.

According to a University of Cincinnati press release, Corleone received medical care at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he underwent diagnosis and initial treatment. He was discharged from the center on June 14 after staying one day in the hospital. He is back home and on the road to recovery. Corleone and the Cincinnati sports medicine team are working with specialists to determine his next steps.

About Corleone's Injury

According to Penn Medicine, a blood clot in your lungs, scientifically known as a "pulmonary embolism," is a sudden blockage in your pulmonary arteries that sends blood to your lungs. Generally, clots like these happen when a blood clot suffered in the deep veins of the legs breaks off and travels to other organs. This also is known as an embolus. When an embolus blocks a blood vessel, it results in an embolism.

An embolus can travel anywhere in your body, but clots in the deep veins of your legs usually travel to the lungs due to the connecting vessels and arteries. This specific embolus is known as a deep vein thrombosis. You are more likely to develop these clots if you have risk factors such as cancer, family history, heart disease, a clotting disorder or obesity.

A pulmonary embolism is also more likely to develop after things such as childbirth, heart attack or stroke, long plane or car rides, long-term bed rest, severe injuries or surgery. This is why it is important to recover properly from all these things.

Some pulmonary embolism symptoms include chronic coughing that may produce blood, dizziness, heart palpitations, leg pain or swelling, sharp and sudden chest pain, and shortness of breath. It can also lead to cardiac arrest, arrhythmia, pleural effusion, pulmonary hypertension and tissue death. If you experience these symptoms, then please consult a doctor.

Corleone's Impact on Cincinnati

With this type of injury, Corleone will need extended rest, hence why he is out indefinitely. This is a very serious medical condition that will require rest and recovery as well as close monitoring of his condition.

"I am incredibly grateful to my family and for Aaron Himmler, Dr. Ian Divine, our whole medical staff, and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for guiding me through this over the last few weeks," Corleone stated in the school's press release. "Right now, I am focused on my recovery. My hope is that I will be able to return to football soon, but in the meantime, I will do everything I can to rehab and help the football program as a leader and mentor to younger players."

Corleone was a rising star on this Cincinnati defense, quickly becoming a leader both on and off the field. The redshirt junior recorded 39 total tackles, 3 sacks and a forced fumble last year, as well as 44 total tackles, 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 2022. Corleone was set to be the leader along the defensive line, but will likely spend at least part of the season on the sideline recovering from the embolism. Rushing him back could prove to be detrimental to Corleone's health and possibly even his life, given the severity of the situation.

The next man up to replace Corleone is senior Michigan State Spartan transfer Jalen Hunt, who recorded 3 total tackles last season and 20 total throughout his career. Cincinnati's defense already had massive turnover from this year to last. But with the additions of West Virginia Mountaineer transfer Jared Bartlett, who has a ton of experience rushing the passer, and Eastern Michigan Eagles transfer Mikah Coleman, who made a name for himself in the Mid-American Conference as a hybrid, prototype pass rusher, and other notable transfers in, they look to be in OK condition.

The loss of Corleone certainly weighs heavy still, as Cincinnati has a strong non-conference schedule facing the Pitt Panthers and 2023 MAC Champion Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. But the conference schedule bodes a little better for the Bearcats. They face the Houston Cougars, who will also be desperate to stay off the bottom of the conference to open the conference schedule. However, the Bearcats could fall on tough times after facing the Texas Tech Red Raiders and UCF Knights, two teams with excellent rushing attacks. Corleone could be a major asset in those games, but there's no guarantee he'll be back by then.

Health Matters Most

In the end, what matters most is Corleone's health. This is a major scare for anyone to have a medical condition such as this and it needs to be treated with caution rather than reckless abandon. Corleone's life depends on it.

Cincinnati will survive without him. The Bearcats aren't exactly favored to make a historic run at the Big 12 Conference title, but not having their star pass rusher and defensive lineman does hurt. Once again, though, Corleone having a speedy recovery and coming back happy, healthy and at his best is what we should all hope for. College Football Dawgs gives their best to the Cincinnati football program and to Corleone during this trying time. Here's to a strong and quick recovery.


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