ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -The Buffalo Bills lost three regulars to injury in their season opener against Denver on Sunday, including tight end Kevin Everett, who was knocked cold and taken off the field in an ambulance.
Everett injured his neck and was transported to a hospital.
Everett fell immediately to the ground and showed no signs of consciousness after a helmet-to-helmet hit when he tackled Denver's Domenik Hixon during a kickoff to open the second half. Everett was placed on a backboard with his head and body immobilized, and carefully loaded into an ambulance at the Broncos 30.
The game was delayed for about 15 minutes, and the Bills gathered at the sideline while doctors attended to the player.
Buffalo also lost two defensive starters. Ko Simpson was carted off the field with a left ankle injury 10 minutes in. Linebacker Coy Wire, who was filling in for injured starter Keith Ellison, hurt his knee on the same drive and did not return.
Simpson was hurt when he had his feet cut out from beneath him by teammate Jason Webster as the two were attempting to tackle Broncos receiver Javon Walker. Simpson fell immediately to the ground and was unable to put any weight on his left foot.
Team trainers were forced to lift the player onto the cart and he was taken for X-rays.
Buffalo's fourth-round pick in the 2006 draft, Simpson started 15 games last season, and was a member of the NFL's youngest safety tandem, playing alongside rookie first-round pick Donte Whitner.
Third-year player Jim Leonhard took over for Simpson.
Wire was examined on the sideline, but made his way to the locker room on his own. Reserve Mario Haggan replaced Wire.
The injuries were the latest blows to an already banged-up and young defense that was starting four players with less than two years of NFL experience. Buffalo also lacks experienced reserves at defensive end, with Ryan Denney out indefinitely with a broken left foot and Anthony Hargrove suspended for the first four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
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