PENSACOLA, Fla. (KNWA/KFTA) — Former Razorback star running back Peyton Hillis is in the ICU on Jan 5.

A family member of Hillis confirms he was taken to the hospital by helicopter following a swimming accident in Pensacola, Fla.

According to the family member, although he remains unconscious in the ICU, Hillis’ breathing is improving.

“I just want to let everyone know on Razorback Nation that Peyton is doing better,” his uncle, Greg Hillis wrote in a post. “He is still in intensive care and having some problems with his kidneys and lungs, but the doctors say he is improving. I just wanted to head off any rumors that may be started.”

According to an incident report, on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 11:52 am., Escambia County Fire Rescue responded to what appeared to be one swimmer in distress. Two lifeguards and one firefighter then went into the water to rescue the swimmer.

The swimmer that was rescued had reportedly provided assistance to four swimmers that were in distress. They were now back on shore.

Two of those swimmers, required transportation to the hospital. One traveled via helicopter, per Escambia EMS.

Hillis was drafted in the seventh round by the Denver Broncos in 2008 and played for the Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and New York Giants.

This is a developing story. Stay with KNWA/FOX24 for updates.