TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage has movement in all of his extremities after suffering a neck injury and concussion in Tampa Bay’s wild-card playoff game against Dallas, the team announced Tuesday.
The Buccaneers said in a statement that Gage remained hospitalized overnight and would undergo more testing a day after being taken off the field by stretcher in a sobering scene that came just two weeks after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and needed to be resuscitated during a prime-time game.
“I appreciate all of the texts, calls, thoughts and prayers you all have expressed towards my family and I,” Gage wrote on Twitter. “I just wanted to let you all know that I’m doing great and in great spirits! Thank you!”
Gage was injured in the fourth quarter Monday night when he stumbled on a route, went to the ground, couldn’t make the catch and took a hard shot to the neck from Donovan Wilson. He appeared to try to get up but couldn’t and slammed his hand into the ground in frustration.
Players from both teams took a knee and prayed while medical personnel attended to Gage. Tom Brady, who threw the pass to Gage, stood near the medical staff before the game resumed.
“Definitely hope he’s doing well. He was moving so that’s a good sign,” teammate Lavonte David said after the game.
On Jan. 2, Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle. Teammates were in tears while he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Cincinnati. Hamlin has made a remarkable recovery and watched from home as the Bills beat the Dolphins in an AFC wild-card game.
The immediate uncertainty surrounding Gage's injury sparked an outpouring of support on social media.
Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III, an ESPN analyst, posted on Twitter: “Prayers up for Russell Gage.”
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Rob Maaddi, The Associated Press