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Chiefs player BJ Thompson ‘awake and alert’ after seizure and cardiac arrest

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end BJ Thompson was awake and “absolutely on track” Friday afternoon after the player suffered an epileptic seizure and cardiac arrest on Thursday, a team official said.

The prognosis is good for Thompson, 25, who suffered the seizure during a team meeting at the Chiefs' facility. He was taken to the hospital and sedated and placed on a ventilator overnight, said Rick Burkholder, the Chiefs' vice president of sports medicine and performance.

On Friday, Burkholder told reporters that kicker Harrison Butker ran to the training room to alert staff when Thompson's medical ordeal began.

“As a team, we tried to stabilize BJ and put him on the ground while he was still having a seizure. Then he went into cardiac arrest. Our team from that group performed CPR on him,” Burkholder said.

“He received an AED (automated external defibrillator) shock and came to. So the cardiac arrest lasted less than a minute to a minute and a half,” Burkholder said.

Paramedics took over and Thompson was transported to the University of Kansas Health System.

“They had it under control,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “It's a difficult situation. We've been through a few of these in my time – it's never fun. Thank God if it had to happen there's no better place than right here where you have the support that knows what to do.”

The Chiefs sent players home and postponed training until Friday.

Thompson recorded two tackles in a game as a rookie last season. He was selected by Kansas City in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft out of Stephen F. Austin.

His future in football is currently unclear, but Burkholder said Thompson is “coming through pretty well.”

“We don't have a diagnosis and in medicine sometimes you don't have that,” he said. “He's on absolutely the right track, so all is well in a somewhat delicate situation.”