The sight of receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey being taken off the field on a gurney during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s victory over the Vikings seemed to be a shock to his teammates and coaches.
Heyward-Bey had taken a knee to the back of his head while being tackled, and his neck and head were stabilized by medical personnel when they came out on the field to tend to him.
As Raiders head coach Hue Jackson told the media Monday, “certain things go through a player’s mind” when they see a teammate taken off the field for what could be a serious injury. “You’re a play away all the time” from a life-changing injury, he noted.
But Monday, the Raiders said Heyward-Bey is doing well and suffered no serious trauma.
Jackson told reporters Monday that Heyward-Bey suffered a concussion and neck and back injuries, but will be back playing soon.
“Obviously, we’re going to take precautions with him, but he’s moving around, walking around, looking like Darrius, neck brace on,” Jackson told Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. “He’s doing good. That was a tough shot that he took, but he’s a tough young man. I’m sure as fast as he can get out there with his teammates, he will be.”
Whether Heyward-Bey can be ready in time for Sunday’s game against the Bears at O.co Coliseum is in doubt, however.
Should Heyward-Bey be unable to play Sunday, his spot in the lineup could be taken by Jacoby Ford who may be ready to play after recovering from a sprained foot, noted Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group. Or, Derek Hagan, released earlier this season, could be brought back.
In his third season, Heyward-Bey has had some outstanding games in 2011, and has a career-high 31 catches for 477 yards – a 15.4 yards per catch average – and a touchdown.