ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills cornerback Dane Jackson suffered a neck injury in a collision with a teammate on Monday night and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Jackson had full movement in his limbs, but coach Sean McDermott didn’t have an update beyond that on the player’s condition following a 41-7 win over the Tennessee Titans. McDermott said he has a brief chat with Jackson in the stadium tunnel before the ambulance left for the hospital.
“You go from being a coach to just being a human when I’m out there watching him getting loaded into the ambulance. That’s a real moment,” McDermott said. “Just praying for him. It’s an unfortunate situation but we’re praying for him and hopefully we get some more (updates) here soon.”
Bills safety Jordan Poyer said Jackson informed him he was all right during a text exchange following the game.
“It felt like one of my brothers was down,” said safety Damar Hamlin, who was also Jackon’s college teammate at Pitt. “With the severity of how it happened, it made it even more extreme. It didn’t seem like a regular injury. Once I talked to him, once he told me he was good on the field, we got that kind of bond. He’s gonna let me know if something’s up so I’m praying for him and I know that he’s going to be okay.”
Jackson was hurt late in the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans. He tackled receiver Treylon Burks from behind following a 12-yard catch. As Jackson lay on Burks’ back, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds dived in late and struck his teammate directly in the helmet. Jackson’s neck snapped back following the collision.
“Dane’s a great team guy. Everybody loves Dane,” said defensive end A.J. Epenesa. “You hate when you see things like that where guys get injured, let alone have to be taken off the field on a stretcher and an ambulance. It kind of just hurts you to see that but that’s just part of the game. I’m sending prayers for Dane.”
“I’m just praying for him,” said cornerback Taron Johnson. “They said that he was moving everything and everything seems to be going pretty well so hopefully, he can get back to us as soon as possible.”
After the play, Titans running back Hassan Haskins pulled Jackson off Burks. Jackson lay face down and pounded the turf with his right arm.
The game was delayed for nearly 10 minutes as team doctors attended to Jackson, who was moving his legs. He was then moved onto a stretcher and into an ambulance and driven off the field.
Jackson is a third-year player who began the season starting in place of Tre’Davious White, who continues to recover from a left knee injury he suffered last year.
“Life is bigger than football,” said safety Damar Hamlin. “You’ve just got to lock back in and find that focus to get through these four quarters just to finish the game out and we did that.”