Even though the NFL regular season hasn’t started yet, Jeremy Shockey has already proven himself an invaluable off-season free agent signing for the Carolina Pathers.

According to the agent for Shockey’s new teammate and fellow tight end Ben Harstock, Shockey saved Harstock’s life after a chunk of pork tenderloin became lodged in Hartsock’s throat during lunch in the Panthers’ team facility.

“(Hartsock) started to go to the bathroom and I don’t know if he collapsed, but he couldn’t breathe,” agent Mike McCartney told the National Football Post. “Some new guy came and tried to give him the Heimlich. It didn’t work. Then, Shockey hit him in the back pretty hard and out came the meat. The Panthers told me it was really scary.

“Ben told me Shockey came over and gave me the Heimlich maneuver and saved my life. He was in good spirits and he’s real thankful for Shockey.”

[National Football Post]