Bills starting cornerback Dane Jackson was being evaluated for a neck injury at a local hospital Monday night following a scary collision with a teammate during Buffalo’s 41-7 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Jackson has full movement in his extremities, according to the Bills, and was getting a CT scan and an X-ray at Erie County Medical Center.
“Still awaiting word and obviously praying for Dane and all of [the Bills’ injured players],” coach Sean McDermott said after the game. “You go from the real part of it here; 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.”
With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds was making a second-down tackle on Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks when the two collided. After making contact with Edmunds’ helmet, Jackson’s head appeared to snap back.
“Definitely a tough play. Just kind of saw the receiver still up, just trying to finish the play,” Edmunds said. “A situation that obviously, I didn’t do intentionally. I would never try to do something like that to my teammate, but like I said the receiver was still up, I was just trying to finish him to the ground, and unfortunately, I end up hitting Dane.”
The game was called back for nearly ten minutes while team trainers attended to Jackson, who was moving his legs. He was then loaded onto a stretcher and transported in an ambulance through the stadium tunnel.
Teammates surrounded Jackson as he was being tended to, with Edmunds remaining nearby almost the entire time.
“Just to see him moving, just to see him give a thumbs-up on the way out — obviously, that helped a lot of us. … It eased a lot of our minds,” Edmunds said.
McDermott said he had a moment to speak with Jackson in the Bills’ tunnel before the ambulance left the stadium.
Jackson, a third-year player who started the season in place of an injured Tre’Davious White, had three tackles Monday and an interception last week in the Bills’ win over the Los Angeles Rams.
After Jackson’s injury, rookies Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam took over. To begin the season, they had been rotating opposite Jackson.
Bills safety Damar Hamlin is a close friend of Jackson’s and said that while the moment on the field was difficult, he got an encouraging response from Jackson.
“It felt terrible. It felt like one of my brothers was down,” Hamlin said. “And with the severity of how it happened, it just made it even more extreme. ‘Cause, it didn’t seem like just [a] regular injury. But once I talked to him, once he told me he was good on the field we got that kind of bond where he’s going to let me know if something is up, so, I’m praying for him, and I know he’ll be OK.”
Other Bills injuries include starting safety Micah Hyde, who suffered a neck injury late in the third quarter when Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill connected with receiver Robert Woods on first down. Hyde was examined on the field for a few minutes before walking away on his own and into the blue medical tent.
Hyde has later carted off the field in a cart. In the game, he was replaced by backup Jaquan Johnson.
“It was kind of a weird game, wasn’t it,” safety Jordan Poyer said. “I texted Micah, he said he’s all right. Dane said he was all right, too. Just praying for those guys.”
Mitch Morse, the Bills’ centre, left the game with a right elbow injury but was able to return. Linebacker Matt Milano (stinger) and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (hamstring) both left the game with injuries at the same time that a slew of replacements entered the game. Gabe Davis, the team’s wide receiver, was out with an ankle injury on Monday.
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