|Bills' Everett sedated after serious neck injury|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 10 September 2007 09:17|
Everett is in the intensive care unit at Buffalo's Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital after a four-hour operation performed hours after he was hurt in a season-opening loss to Denver, Eric Armstead, a partner of the player's agent Brian Overstreet, told The Associated Press on Monday.
``He'll be sedated for the next 24 to 48 hours and we won't know more until then,'' Armstead said. ``We were told by the doctors that the surgery went well.''
Everett's family members, including mother Patricia Dugas, were to arrive in Buffalo on Monday from their Houston home, Armstead said
Overstreet told the AP late Sunday that his 25-year-old client had some ``sparse movement.''
``The next couple of days are going to be critical,'' said Overstreet, responding to a question about paralysis. ``Our concern is for him to come out of this healthy and, hopefully, be able to walk again.''
The team doctor, John Marzo, is scheduled to give a medical update in the afternoon.
Punter Brian Moorman was one of many Bills players shaken by Everett's injury.
``It's a tough situation to watch because he's somebody's son, brother and friend,'' Moorman said Monday. ``It's all you could think about during the game, after it happened, after the game and this morning. And we just want him to get better, we want him to heal.''
Quarterback J.P. Losman said it was difficult to concentrate during practice.
``It seems like every couple of seconds that go by it's always popping into your head,'' Losman said. ``Going through a walk-through, we're looking for him, wanting to hear his voice.''
The Bills have Tuesday off before returning to practice to prepare to play at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Everett sustained what the team called a cervical spine injury when he ducked his head while driving in to tackle Denver's Domenik Hixon during the second half-opening kickoff. Everett dropped face first to the ground after his helmet hit Hixon high on the left shoulder and side of the helmet.
Replays showed the player twitching for a few seconds as he attempted to get up before falling back to the ground. Everett had his eyes open but showed no further signs of movement during the next 15 minutes as the team's medical staff and emergency personnel carefully placed him on a backboard and, with the player's head and body immobilized, loaded him into an ambulance at the Broncos 30.
Jauron said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called him Sunday evening, offering the league's support.
``We honor ourselves by our work, and we honor Kevin by moving forward and working while never forgetting Kevin and never getting him out of our thoughts and prayers,'' Jauron said. ``We're going to wait and see what the outcome is here and we're really hoping and praying for the best.''
Buffalo's 2005 third-round draft pick out of Miami, Everett missed his rookie season because of a knee injury. He spent most of last year playing special teams. He was hoping to make an impact as a receiver.
His injury recalled the one to Mike Utley, the former Detroit Lions guard who was paralyzed below the chest. He injured his neck in a collision during a 1991 game.
``I'm sorry this young man got hurt,'' Utley told the AP. ``It wasn't a cheap shot. It was a great form tackle and that's it.''
The 41-year-old Utley now lives in Washington state and is promoting a bike tour aimed at raising money in an effort to cure paralysis.
``These are big strong men competing at the highest level. You can do everything to prepare yourself - lift weights and all that,'' Utley said. ``But is it going to happen again? Yes.''
Everett's injury was not the only one sustained by the Bills.
Starting cornerback Jason Webster had surgery to repair a broken forearm and starting free safety Ko Simpson also had surgery for a broken left ankle. Coach Dick Jauron said both players could miss the rest of the season. Linebacker Coy Wire, starting in place of injured Keith Ellison, has a sprained knee and is out indefinitely.
Associated Press Sports Writer Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.