Emmitt Smith Visits ‘Hero’ Peyton Hillis In Hospital As Recovery Continues

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As former Arkansas and NFL running back Peyton Hillis continues to recover in a Florida hospital, Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith stopped by to offer up some words of encouragement.

The ex-Florida Gators and Dallas Cowboys (and Arizona Cardinals!) legend visited Hillis Thursday as he recovers from heroically saving his children from drowning on a Florida beach nearly two weeks ago.

“I had the opportunity to visit a recovering hero this week, Peyton Hillis,” Smith said in a social media post. “Stay strong Peyton! Praying for you, your family and wishing you a speedy recovery.”

Peyton Hillis continues to recover after drowning accident

Good stuff here from a pair of legends.

Hillis has been hospitalized for nearly two weeks now after saving his two children from drowning at a Florida beach.

The former Razorback and Cleveland Browns star was still in critical condition as of last week. He is dealing with kidney and lung issues, but girlfriend Angela Cole said last Thursday that he was not only off the ventilator, but “on the road to recovery.”

“A hero,” Cole, a singer and actress, said in an Instagram post, which included a video montage of the two.

“So proud of this man and so incredibly grateful for family and this incredible hospital. Peyton is off the ventilator and is on the road to recovery. Please continue to pray for he’s still got a ways ahead of him. But thank you for all of your prayers and love and support thus far. It truly makes all the difference. Today was a good day.”

Emmitt Smith visits Peyton Hillis.
Emmitt Smith visits Peyton Hillis in hospital after drowning accident. (Photo by David Richard/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

Several athletes commented on Smith’s Instagram post, including former Dallas Cowboys teammate Troy Aikman and legendary Buffalo Bills WR Andre Reed, who called Hillis a “hero.”

Hillis, 36, played both high school and college football Arkansas, before embarking on an NFL career that took him to Cleveland, Denver, New York, and Kansas City.

While at Arkansas, Hillis was one part of a running back triumvirate comprised of himself, Darren McFadden, and Felix Jones.

He shares his two children with now ex-wife Amanda Hillis, whom he reportedly divorced in 2020. 

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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