NEW ORLEANS —Former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason was rushed to Ochsner Hospital by ambulance on Monday night after becoming unresponsive during the Saints-Philadelphia Eagles game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
A Saints spokesman said the 35-year-old Gleason, who has suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — Lou Gehrig’s disease — since 2010, was “alert and responsive’’ after being taken to the emergency room.
On Sept. 25, 2006, Gleason was responsible for one of the most dramatic moments in Saints history, when he blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown in a 23-3 win against the Atlanta Falcons in the first game played in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.
In July, “Rebirth”, a statue depicting Gleason blocking the punt, was erected outside the Superdome; a news report commented that the blocked punt “etched Steve Gleason into Saints lore and became symbolic of New Orleans’ resilience in the face of disaster”.
Gleason’s wife, Michele, informed Saints officials of the incident midway through the third quarter of Monday night’s game.