NFL Legend Steve McMichael Hospitalized a Week After Being Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame

The former defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears was diagnosed with ALS in 2021

<p>Brian Cassella/TNS via ZUMA Press Wire</p> Steve McMichael

Brian Cassella/TNS via ZUMA Press Wire

Steve McMichael

Steve McMichael, a former defensive lineman who won a Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears in 1986, has been hospitalized and admitted to the ICU, his family said.

The announcement about McMichael’s health comes one week after the 66-year-old former NFL star was announced as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024.

On Thursday evening, McMichael’s publicist announced that the former NFL star had been hospitalized with suspected pneumonia. “We are asking for prayers for Steve McMichael,” his publicist told NBC Chicago affiliate WMAQ-TV. “He is going to the emergency room now... We will inform you as we have more updates.”

McMichael's family later released a statement clarifying that it was not pneumonia. "Steve is fighting a Urinary Tract Infection," the family wrote, per WMAQ and Sports Illustrated. "He is on three antibiotics and is being admitted to the ICU this evening. Continued prayers are appreciated for Steve's speedy recovery. Thank you!"

McMichael was diagnosed with ALS in January 2021 and has since scaled back his public life.

The former athlete's wife, Misty McMichael, who has been his primary caretaker in recent years, told the Patch earlier this month that she believes he will fight to stay alive long enough to see his hall of fame induction.

Related: Steve McMichael, Former Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champion, Diagnosed with ALS

<p>AP Photo/Scott Boehm</p> Steve McMichael

AP Photo/Scott Boehm

Steve McMichael

“I hope he stays alive for the next year because I know he will if he gets inducted,” she said. “I know he’ll stay alive. He’s tough. He’s not human. He probably should have been dead already.”

“The doctors have been giving him six months for a year,” she continued, adding, “But he’s hanging on and I really hope that this gives him the incentive to hang on for another year.”

A beloved figure in Chicago, McMichael was part of the 1985-86 Chicago Bears team whose defense is regarded as one of the best units ever assembled. The ‘85 Bears are also regarded as one of the NFL’s greatest teams, having posted a 15-1 regular season record on their way to blowing out the New England Patriots 46-10 in the Super Bowl.

The team, who earned fame beyond the sports world for its "Super Bowl Shuffle" rap, shut out the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Rams in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Bears outscoring their opponents 91-10 that postseason, anchored by its defensive play.

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Steve McMichael
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Steve McMichael

McMichael played for the Bears for 13 seasons, also playing for the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers throughout his 15-year career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice, as well as being named one of the Top-100 Chicago Bears players of all-time.

After his NFL career, McMichael became a professional wrestler and joined World Championship Wrestling in 1995, once winning the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship. He feuded on-screen with the likes of Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett before stepping away from wrestling fulltime in 1999.

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After announcing his ALS diagnosis in 2021, McMichael received an outpouring of support — especially in Chicago. The Bears customized a wheelchair that the team provided for him, and a GoFundMe raised more than $205,000 to help him cover healthcare costs.

"When I think about Steve as a player, as a teammate, reliable," said Mike Singletary, another Bears Hall of Fame middle linebacker who played alongside McMichael for more than a decade from 1981 until 1992.

He added, "Steve would be what you'd call a blue-collar guy. He was a team guy. As a player, he was the best. You could always depend on him to do his job and be where he was supposed to be. I really believe that's one of the things that he prided himself on is being dependable and being a teammate."

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