Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage was stretchered off the field late in the fourth quarter of the team’s 31–14 wild card playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Gage was injured when he tripped on a route, went to ground, failed to make the catch and received a hard shot to the neck from safety Donovan Wilson. Gage seemed to try to get up, but he couldn’t and slapped his hand on the grass in frustration.
Players from both teams knelt and prayed as medical staff attended to Gage. Tom Brady, throwing the pass to Gage, was right by the medical staff before the game resumed.
“They took him to the hospital,” said Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles. “At the moment he has a concussion. They are also testing him for possible neck injuries.”
As for the movement of his limbs, Bowles added, “His fingers moved as he went down. The rest I don’t know.”
The piece came two weeks after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed, went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field during another primetime Monday night game. He was released from a hospital in Buffalo last week.
“It was really tough, especially with what happened a few weeks ago,” said Bucs inside linebacker Lavonte David. “Russ is a great guy off the pitch and a great guy on the pitch. We sure hope he’s okay. He was moving and things like that; that was a good sign. I really hope he’s okay.”
Cam Brate, who suffered a neck sprain in Week 6 and also left the field on a stretcher, added: “You hate to see someone go down like that, especially with the game a little out of reach at that point. “It’s really hard seeing your teammate like this. We’re all thinking about Russ and hope he’s okay. Yeah, it’s hard.”
ESPN’s Jenna Laine and The Associated Press contributed to this report.