The pro football world collectively held its breath Monday night at the spectacle of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage flopping on the field unable to get up after a hit.
The injury to Gage came two weeks after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered an on-field cardiac arrest during a “Monday Night Football” game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin rose after a hit and then fell back down. He was released from a Buffalo hospital on Wednesday.
The Bucs wide receiver was injured while trying to catch a pass from Tom Brady late in the fourth quarter of a wild-card playoff game at Raymond James Stadium.
As Gage stumbled to the ground, Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson’s arm struck his neck.
“Just a frightening sight, watching Russell Gage try to get up and not being able to,” announcer Joe Buck said as players from both teams gathered around Gage.
Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles gave a brief update on the 26-year-old receiver after the game, which Tampa Bay lost 31-14.
“They took him to the hospital. Right now, he has a concussion. They’re also testing him for potential neck injuries,” Bowles said.
The coach was asked if Gage had movement in his extremities.
“His fingers were moving when he was down there. I don’t know about the rest,” Bowles said.
After the hit, Gage tried to lift his head to get up but was unable to as he lay twitching on the field.
— Georgeous Washington (@trollslay3r) January 17, 2023
Somber-faced players from both teams milled about as he was first immobilized to protect his neck and then taken off the field on a cart.
Gage, who played in college at LSU, spent four years with the Atlanta Falcons before signing a deal with Tampa Bay this season.
“Russ is a great dude off the field and a great guy on the field. We definitely hope he’s well. He was moving and stuff like that; that was a good sign. Definitely hope he’s OK.”
Russell Gage Jr injury on the field as Tom Brady looks on, hope he’s alright pic.twitter.com/by8C6uGE2T
— Ted Buddwell 🏀🏈 (@TedBuddy8) January 17, 2023
“You hate to see a guy go down like that, especially with the game being kind of out of reach at that point. It’s really hard to see your teammate like that. We’re all thinking about Russ and hope he’s doing well. Yeah, it’s tough,” he said.
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