An injury to the spinal cord has paralyzed Rutgers player Eric LeGrand. The Rutgers football player received the injury after a defensive tackle against Army on Sunday. This football injury is one of many, not just over the weekend, but in the history of the game, from methods players employ when tackling. Many have hope that LeGrand, paralyzed from the neck down, will recover, while others caution against the dangers which players and coaches aren’t doing enough to avoid.
Another rough game on Sunday included Philly’s DeSean Jackson & Atlanta’s Dunta Robinson, who, according to Dashiell Bennett with Business Insider- Sports, nearly knocked himself out while knocking out Jackson. Other players knocked out this weekend: Zack Follett of Detroit and Josh Cribbs of Cleveland. Bennett believes players like Robinson haven’t learned their lessons regarding the seriousness of injury; fines and penalties aren’t getting the message across.
Meanwhile, Eric LeGrand and his family are spending time together in the hospital, reports Fame Crawler. They go on to say that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano– who visited him before and after his surgery– is telling reporters that Eric, his family, and his Rutgers family all believe he will make a recovery. The family thanks everyone for their well wishes and prayers. They say that Eric is in “good spirits.” In addition to family, several players have also visited Eric and his mother. The Associated Press states that he will remain hospitalized for the near future.
Schiano talks of LeGrand’s reputation– a good work ethic,and care for the other players– and believes he will overcome this challenge as he has all others. Fans and the media recall times where the worst was feared, but a positive outcome resulted.
In an effort to provide optimism, the Associated Press mentions Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett, who in 2007 also became paralyzed, but later walked, despite the doctors’ beliefs that this would be unlikely. Everett showed signs of movement days later. Both AP and Fame Crawler note that Penn State’s Adam Taliaferro faced similar injuries but now walks (after a lengthier recovery than Everett), and he provided a message of comfort to the LeGrand family, which you may also see on the Fame Crawler site.
Upon injury, LeGrand was on the ground for at least five minutes while medical personnel were checking out the junior as players from both teams looked on. Army coach Rich Ellerson offered a comforting hand on Schiano, who says he was very impressed at the responsiveness of the medical team during such a scary situation. Schiano did have a talk with Penn State coach Joe Paterno, says AP; Paterno had been coach to Taliaferro. The conversation, relating to how to handle the situation, wouldn’t be discussed by Schiano, who kept private the details.
While LeGrand’s injury was unfortunate, many believe it was avoidable. He and other players continue to do damage to their opponents and themselves with the tactics they use to tackle. People have hope for Eric’s recovery and stand by him, but whether he’ll overcome paralysis remains to be seen. Despite all levels of optimism expressed to and by the press, this is obviously a delicate situation being handled with care — probably a level of care that could have been utilized to keep individuals safe in the first place.
Dashiell Bennett, College Football Player Is Paralyzed; Will NFL Get Serious About Dangerous Hits Now?, Business Insider Sports Page
Rutgers Player Paralyzed: Family Says Eric LeGrand Will Recover. Send Them A Note, Fame Crawler
Associated Press, Rutgers Football Player Paralyzed From Neck Down, Fox News