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Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman uses Heimlich maneuver to save man at Austin airport

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Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman is making some offseason news ahead of the team's training camp. (WLS)

Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman is making some offseason news ahead of the team's training camp.

Off the field, en route back to Chicago Sunday, Freeman was just an average guy at Salt Lick BBQ in the Austin airport.

"Got some food I wasn't supposed to be getting," he said.

He didn't have long to enjoy his brisket sandwich, however.

"And a guy like two seats over, he just stands up above me and like runs around the side of the table, and everybody's like, what's wrong with that guy?" said Freeman.

The man, Marcus Ryan, was choking.

"He was just like, he was just pointing to it. He was pointing to his throat, pointing to his mouth," he said.

After another woman tried but couldn't help, the 6-foot linebacker leapt up from his table.

"Everybody had stopped all around like the whole section that we were in and, I don't know. I didn't really know what to do," Freeman admitted.

Even with all 236 lbs. of muscular force behind it, one go at the Heimlich maneuver didn't do it.

"Like I asked him, cuz I asked him was he ok? And he was like, 'I think something's still in there,' but he said it in a little raspy voice," Freeman recalled.

So he gave it another go.

"When I put the guy down he was like, 'Oh my god, you just saved my life.' He was like 'Oh my god,'" he said.

Marcus Ryan is likely more than a little sore today, but grateful the Bears linebacker, who shares his love of brisket, was there to save him from it.

"He said I broke his rib, I was like, 'Well it was either your rib or your life!'" Freeman said with a laugh.

Freeman said he has never given the Heimlich before and that the only reason he knew what to do is because his mother is a nurse.

He also said after the entire ordeal, the two men sat down and finished their brisket meal together.

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Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman is making some offseason news ahead of the team's training camp.


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