Donald Jones thought he was dreaming when every team in the National Football League contacted him about playing for their organization. But he always heard the same follow-up question: “Can you first tell us about the drug bust you were involved in last year?” They were referring to an accusation of drug dealing that could have ruined his career.” Somehow, he overcame the suspicion and fought his way to the NFL, playing as a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. Along the way, however, he had to overcome an onslaught of obstacles, from growing up in Plainfield, New Jersey, amid crime and violence and battling constant peer pressure. But perhaps his biggest challenge was dealing with IgA nephropathy, a kidney disorder that he was diagnosed with during his sophomore year of high school—a condition he fought every day of his career which eventually forced him to retire. Jones looks back at the lessons he learned on a perilous road to the NFL and provides keen insights on what it takes to succeed on the field and off in The Next Quarter.
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