Tim Green Has Lost the Use of His Limbs to ALS, but the Former Atlanta Falcons Defender Has Written Another Book

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Defensive end Tim Green looks on as he stand on the sidelines during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on Sept. 19, 1993.

Tim Green’s focus as an Atlanta Falcons rookie 25 years ago was on chasing down quarterbacks and running backs in NFL backfields. He put all of his effort into it and lasted eight seasons in the league before retiring at the age of 30.

Green transitioned into a career as an author, lawyer, and television personality before taking on his toughest assignment, one far more challenging than shedding double-teams: Doctors diagnosed him with ALS.

The disease has slowed Green, but it has not stopped him. His latest novel arrived in bookstores this week.

Tim Green’s health has declined since revealing his ALS diagnosis

Tim Green revealed on Facebook in November 2018 that he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is frequently referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Four days later, he spoke about his condition on 60 Minutes. Green, now 57, decided to go public with details of his condition when it became apparent that friends and acquaintances would start noticing changes.

Green’s symptoms began five years earlier with neurological problems in his hands that doctors initially attributed to football-related elbow injuries. Specialists investigated further after Green’s voiced weakened, and they determined he had a slow-progressing form of ALS.

According to, Green experienced a subsequent deterioration of motor skills. ALS affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, weakening muscles.  In the nearly three years since his disclosure, Green’s health has declined noticeably, which he acknowledged in an interview with Fox & Friends.

“I’ve lost the use of my voice, and all my limbs, but I’m so grateful for the technology that allows me to write books and work in my law firm and communicate with you like I’m doing now,” Green told the show’s Brian Kilmeade. 

Doctors performed a tracheotomy on Green to help him breathe with the aid of a ventilator, reported.

Troy Green explained that his father is able to write with the help of technology that tracks the characters he is looking at on a tablet. The retired NFL player has a button he can click to speak.

Tim Green began the second phase of his career while still playing in the NFL

Tim Green came to fans’ attention as the recruit widely credited with helping Dick MacPherson revive the moribund Syracuse University football program shortly after the coach arrived in 1981. Green played at nearby Liverpool High School, and MacPherson convinced him to play close to home. Green went on to a stellar NCAA career, and the Falcons made him a first-round draft pick in 1986.

Though limited by injuries for portions of his career, Green played eight seasons as an outside linebacker and defensive end. As his playing days wound down, Green published Ruffians, the first of his more than 30 novels, and joined Fox Sports as an NFL analyst. He also set off on a lengthy career practicing law. His other endeavors included contributing on Good Morning America and A Current Affair.

Green also dabbled in coaching high school football in the Syracuse area, and he joined with Troy in investing in a string of apartment complexes valued at $26 million, according to

The former NFL player’s latest book is deeply personal

Tim Green published his first novel in 1993 and wrote at least one book a year from 2003-18. His new book arrived in bookstores on Sept. 14. The Final Season, which is aimed at middle-school audiences, details a 12-year-old’s pursuit of a championship trophy during the final season of football while coping with his father’s physical deterioration.

Though the book, the profits for which are being donated to an ALS charity, is fictional, Green said it closely reflects his youngest son’s final season of football. Troy and an older brother coached alongside their father that year before Tim Green’s conditioned worsened.

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