CHICAGO – At the end of a career in professional football, some players feel like there is nothing but time ahead.

That’s actually not a good thing, at least it wasn’t for Thomas Q. Jones.

“About 8-to-10 months after I retired, I found myself in this lonely space where I really didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing,” said the running back who played 12 seasons in the NFL, including three with the Bears. “Football is a very structured job.”

In fact, there was one thing that Jones found himself doing often after his retirement in 2011, which came after two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I went through a state of depression, trying to figure out what I was supposed to do next, figuring out who I was going to be next, because I’ve been a football player my entire life,” said Jones. “So I started drinking heavily. So for about 8-to-10 months, I would wake up at 6 AM every morning, and I have a Corona, and I would just drink Coronas throughout the day.”

But eventually, Jones worked through his struggles as he found a new passion in his life: Acting and producing. He’s performed in movies and television, including a role in the film “Straight Outta Compton” in 2015, while also creating a number of projects in a production role.

Jones’ latest project is being an executive producer of “Life After,” a Prime Video series that looks at 12 former NFL players, including himself, and how they dealt with life after football.

The players featured include:

  • Sherrod Martin
  • Justin Forsett 
  • Jeff Allen
  • DeMarcus Ware 
  • Domenik Hixon 
  • Andrew Hawkins 
  • Thomas Q. Jones 
  • Al “Bubba” Baker 
  • Spice Adams
  • Bear Pascoe 
  • Daniel Wilcox 
  • Myron Rolle

“It’s very important for this docuseries to be out there and these 12 NFL players that have open and vulnerable and honest about their struggles to let other NFL players know that it’s OK,” said Jones. “Also hopefully give them some insight on understanding at some point you’re career is going to come to an end so you might want to start thinking about something else.”

That’s what this former running back has been able to do with acting and producing, creating a new chapter of his story that now includes “Life After.”

“Making sure that these guys know that people care about them and they care enough about their stories to travel to their locations, to go behind the scenes of their families and speak with them and their families,” said Jones of one of the goals of the docuseries. “Let them know that although you’re not playing in the NFL, there are people in the NFL that care about you and care about you’re wellbeing.”

Larry Hawley has more from his interview with Jones on his post-playing career at his work with “Life After” in the video above.

You can learn about more the “Life After” docuseries from Prime Video by clicking here.

To see more on Jones’ film and television work, click here.