SPORTS MEDICINE: Drew Brees poster boy for wreck of a football season | John Doherty

Name: Walter Payton

Best decade: 1970s

Nickname: Sweetness

Position: Running back

Seasons played with Bears: 13

Career Highlights: Walter Payton might be regarded as the greatest Chicago Bear of all time and one of the best to ever play, according to fans and media. 

Payton’s professional origin began in 1975 when the Bears selected him in the first round of the NFL Draft. He was the fourth overall pick.

The Bears hadn’t had a winning season or a great running back since Gale Sayers retired in 1972. Payton was a gift the Bears needed from the football gods. 

However, his rookie season showed otherwise. He finished with 679 yards and seven touchdowns, but led the league in yards per kickoff return.

Payton was ready to improve for the following season. 

In 1976, Payton rushed for 1,390 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. He played in the 1977 Pro Bowl and won the MVP award for the game. 

Payton’s early years of improving never stopped. In his 1977 season, Payton rushed for 1,852 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. He was the league’s leading scorer that season. 

On October 7, 1984 Payton broke the NFL’s career rushing record. 

In 1985 — the best year in the history of Chicago football — Payton rushed for more than 1,500 yards and helped the Bears get to Super Bowl XX. 

Mike Ditka, who coached the winning Super Bowl team, said that one of the biggest regrets he made in his life was not letting Payton score a touchdown in the game, using quarterback Jim McMahon and defensive tackle William Perry to run the ball instead.

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Ex-doctor whose patient killed Montgomery family in wreck sentenced to 7 years for fraud

A former doctor was recently sentenced to federal prison on fraud charges he incurred after a prescription patient of his high on medication fatally crashed into a family of four driving home from church in Conroe.

Rezik A. Saqer, 66, of Houston, was sentenced to seven years on Oct. 9 by Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas. Rosenthal ordered Saqer to pay $5 million in restitution for fraudulently billing health care programs.

In early July 2019, Saqer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Saqer, according to an Oct. 9 release from the U.S. Department of Justice, was a physician and anesthesiologist at Texas Pain Solutions and Integra Medical Clinic.

Saqer’s patient, Ronald Evan Cooper, 73, of Montgomery, was sentenced to 80 years in prison in May 2017 for intoxication manslaughter. Cooper fatally struck with his car Roland Sedlmeier, 49, Melinda Sedlmeier, 42, Harley, 6, and Sofie, 4, as the family departed Sunday church service Sept. 20, 2015 on Texas 105.

Evidence presented at Saqer’s sentencing showed he had patients submit to “unnecessary and dangerous” procedures and tests as performed by his unlicensed staff and then billed them to health care providers as if he had carried out the work, the District Attorney’s office stated.

Health care providers were fraudulently billed more than $14.6 million by Saquer, according to the DOJ press release.

Additionally, “Saqer’s scheme contributed to multiple overdose deaths,” read a statement from the DA’s Office.

Citing an interest in not conflicting with Saqer’s prosecution in federal court, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed six murder charges the former doctor was facing and a seventh felony charge. These seven charges resulted from the prosecution of Cooper, according to the DA’s office.

Between March 2014 and September 2015, five of Saqer’s patients allegedly died as a result of him furnishing them drugs knowing they were substance abusers. A sixth murder charge alleged a patient in 2011 died after Saqer had an unlicensed person furnish “nontherapeutic” drugs, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The other dismissed charge was for a first-degree organized criminal activity felony for allegedly billing insurance companies for services not rendered in the span of five years, the affidavit showed.

The charges for which Saqer was sentenced resulted from work on the case against him as led by Assistant DA Tamara Holland, along with the Texas Department of Insurance and the Conroe Police Department, the DA’s Office stated.

“I want to thank all of the many people who worked so hard to obtain this outcome. There were endless hours spent on this case by a significant number of investigators and prosecutors, all to ensure Dr. Saqer finally met justice for his dangerous scheme,” Holland said in a statement.

District Attorney Brett Ligon spoke on the impact the Sedlmeier crash had on his office.

“I am proud to have our office work in close cooperation with multiple state and federal agencies, to investigate a case that has affected our community

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