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Michael Irvin calls COVID-19 battle ‘three weeks of hell’

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Longtime Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin announced on Friday that he had contracted COVID-19 earlier this summer.

His battle with the coronavirus, Irvin said on the Rich Eisen Show, was “three weeks of hell.”

Michael Irvin contracted the coronavirus

Irvin said he became sick in the end of June, though his coronavirus tests came back negative multiple times — something that was extremely frustrating.

“I didn’t know I had it, and then I got real sick — I mean a pounding headache for like four or five days,” Irvin said on the show. “You couldn’t eat. You can’t sleep. You’ve just got to endure the pain. 

“I took two tests. They all came back negative. So I’m thinking, ‘OK, I’m good. I don’t have it. I don’t have it.’ But I’m feeling the pain, and then after I went through about three weeks of hell — about three weeks of hell — I said, ‘OK, I’m going to go and take the antibody test,’ because it had to be something. It had to be COVID. There’s no way I went through that kind of pain, that kind of hell, and nobody knows what it is. Then, I’m scared it may come back. So I took the antibody test, and of course the antibody test, which I think is more accurate, came back that I had the antibodies.”

There are more than 5.9 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Friday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and more than 181,000 deaths attributed to it.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

Irvin played in the league from 1988-1999, and helped lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles while racking up nearly 12,000 yards and 65 touchdowns in his 12 seasons with the team. The 54-year-old was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

Though he’s faced numerous brutal injuries in his playing career — he tore his ACL once and even suffered a herniated disc that left him temporarily paralyzed — the coronavirus was a far worse experience.

“I pray for anybody who has it, I really do,” Irvin said on the show. “The headache, I said to myself, honestly I’m not lying, I wanted out of here. I was like, ‘Man, there’s no way I can even endure this.’ The only thing I kept saying is, ‘You’ve only got two weeks of it. Two weeks. Two weeks.’ 

“I pray for all the people that have those migraines, because it’s severe like a migraine, and they have it all the time. That would be the hardest thing in the world to live with, because I just went through it. It was the hardest thing in the world I’ve ever dealt with.”

Longtime Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin said his battle with the coronavirus was “the hardest thing in the world I’ve ever dealt with.” (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

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