Jared Lorenzen
AP Photo/Ed Reinke

The former New York Giants quarterback passed away on Wednesday. He spent four seasons as Eli Manning’s backup.

Geoff Magliocchetti

Former professional quarterback Jared Lorenzen passed away on Wednesday. The 38-year-old had spent four seasons with the New York Giants.

Lorenzen’s family confirmed his passing in a statement released by Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones.

Lorenzen had been admitted to the hospital earlier this week. He was admitted to an intensive care unit and was later revealed to have been battling kidney and heart issues.

The Covington, Kentucky native was best known for a playing weight at just under 300 pounds, an unusual weight for a quarterback.

As such, he was affectionately referred to as “The Hefty Lefty”, a moniker that caught on during his time with the University of Kentucky. He continues to hold Wildcat records for passing yards (10,354) and completions (862). The SEC named him to their All-Conference second team in 2002.

Lorenzen signed as an undrafted free agent with the Giants in 2004. He was a third-string quarterback for his first two seasons, but earned the backup role after a strong preseason in 2006. Lorenzen saw his first regular season action in the same year.

In the Giants’ 34-28 win over the Washington Redskins in Week 17, Lorenzen converted a short third down with a quarterback sneak. He would duplicate the feat in the Giants’ playoff loss in Philadelphia one week later. Both plays were part of eventual Giants scoring drives.

Returning to the primary backup role in 2007, Lorenzen finished out the Giants’ opening week loss to the Dallas Cowboys when Eli Manning left with a fourth-quarter injury. He would complete 4-of-8 passes for 28 yards. The Giants would go onto win Super Bowl 42 over New England, giving Lorenzen an NFL championship ring.

After leaving the Giants, Lorenzen competed for a backup job in Indianapolis, but lost out to Jim Sorgi. He would go on to become one of the most prolific names in the Ultimate Indoor Football League. Lorenzen originally joined on as a coach and executive, but came back as a player with the Northern Kentucky River Monsters. League MVP honors awaited Lorenzen at the end of that season.

A brief retirement led him to become the UIFL’s commissioner before further arena endeavors awaited him. He joined the Continental Indoor Football League for two seasons, even returning to the River Monsters when they joined up after the UIFL’s folding. A broken tibia suffered in a 2014 game ended his playing career.

The quarterback’s weight exceeded 500 pounds after his playing career, putting his health at risk. He began “The Jared Lorenzen Project” in 2017, documenting his weight loss journey. Lorenzen wound up losing 100 pounds in less than a year. His story was featured on ESPN’s E:60 in 2018.

In addition to his health saga, Lorenzen served as host on Kentucky Sports Radio, prominently featured during football season.

“Jared was a great teammate and friend. We competed against each other in college and came to the Giants together,” Manning said in a statement released on the Giants’ social media accounts. “My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will always remember his competitive spirit and his good nature. Jared has left us all way too soon.”

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