Sunday, November 20, 2011
Darrius Heyward-Bey exits on stretcher
ESPN.com news services
MINNEAPOLIS -- Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey left the team's 27-21 win over the Minnesota Vikings on a stretcher after taking a hard hit to the head.
The former first-round draft pick had to be carted off the field with his neck stabilized after the scary collision, but Raiders coach Hue Jackson said Heyward-Bey had movement in all of his limbs and would likely make the trip back to Oakland with the team.
Heyward-Bey was swarmed after catching a third-down pass over the middle early in the fourth quarter, and Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson's knee knocked Heyward-Bey's helmet off as he approached to help with the tackle. Heyward-Bey immediately curled up in discomfort and stayed motionless on the turf for several minutes while medical staff tended to him.
He still wasn't moving as he was rolled off the field and into the tunnel but Jackson said Heyward-Bey had total movement in his limbs and that he has been diagnosed with a neck injury.
"It's definitely scary," Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and I know he has family watching the game. It's a tough situation to be in."
"He was always alert," Jackson said. "I saw him out there and talked to him. He's going to be fine. I truly believe he's going to be OK, but obviously we have to take all the precautionary measures to make sure he's going to be OK."
Jackson said Heyward-Bey would be evaluated in Oakland. He had four catches for 43 yards in the game.
The hit from Henderson was purely accidental, but the linebacker said he hoped to reach out to Heyward-Bey to make sure he was OK.
"As soon as you see the cart out there, it's a bad feeling," Henderson said. "Hopefully he is OK. He gave us the thumps up when he was leaving the field."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.