As of April 2014, former Lions receiver Chuck Hughes remains the only player to have died during an NFL game. Hughes died of a heart attack on Oct. 24, 1971, during a game against the Chicago Bears at Detroit's Tiger Stadium.
Hughes is not the only Detroit Lions player to suffer ill fate on the field. Offensive lineman Mike Utley was paralyzed as a result of a hit during a November 17, 1991 game at the Pontiac Silverdome. In the final game of the1997 season, Detroit Lion Reggie Brown suffered a spinal cord contusion and required emergency surgery to save him from paralysis.