Tony Mandarich Says He Was Taking Up To 60 Painkillers A Day During His NFL Career

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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Infamous NFL bust Tony Mandarich used to take a stunning amount of painkillers during his playing days.

Mandarich, who was selected by the Green Bay Packers in 1989 ahead of Barry Sanders, told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap that he used to heavily abuse painkillers, according to ProFootballTalk Sunday morning.

“I was taking 40, 50, 60 painkillers a day, and drinking,” the former offensive lineman said. Mandarich, who also took steroid, eventually washed out of Green Bay after three short seasons. He eventually made a return to the NFL in 1996, and played for the Colts for a few years. (RELATED: Packers Meeting With Quarterback Drew Lock Before The Draft)


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The story of Tony Mandarich is truly mind-boggling. The man was picked second overall, and flamed out of Green Bay in epic fashion.

He had all the hype in the world coming out of Michigan State, and just couldn’t get it together off of the field.

Taking 60 painkillers and hitting the bottle is insane! Mandarich should consider himself lucky that he didn’t accidentally die.

Mandarich’s comeback with the Colts is admirable, but it’ll never change the fact he’ll always be remembered as one of the greatest busts ever.

You can’t get picked before multiple future hall of fame members, flame out and not expect to get remembered in poor fashion.

Luckily, he turned his life around and appears to be doing just fine these days. Hopefully, young athletes look at Mandarich as a cautionary tale about what happens when substance abuse runs your life.