Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Russell Gage left Monday’s playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys on a backboard after a frightening injury late in the game. He was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated for a concussion and neck injury and kept overnight for observation.
Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson made contact with Gage’s head after an incomplete pass late in the fourth quarter of an NFC wild-card game. Gage fell to his rear after the pass, and Wilson hit him from behind, snapping Gage’s head forward. Wilson wasn’t targeting Gage’s head. He was already committed to the tackle when Gage fell.
Gage appeared to try to stand up from the hit, but couldn’t. He remained laying on his back. Players from both teams surrounded Gage as athletic trainers tended to him. After several moments, athletic trainers placed Gage on a backboard and eventually lifted him onto a cart, where he was taken off the field.
Tuesday morning, the Buccaneers confirmed Gage had suffered a neck injury and a concussion on the play and had movement in all his extremities.
“After suffering a neck injury and concussion during the fourth quarter of last night’s game, Russell was taken to a local hospital where he remained overnight for additional testing and observation,” the team statement said. “Russell has had movement in all extremities and will continue to undergo additional testing today. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.”
Play resumed after Gage left the field Monday in a 31-14 Cowboys win. Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after the game that Gage was able to move his fingers while on the field after the hit.
Gage was initially listed as questionable prior to Monday’s game after he injured his back on a touchdown catch in Week 18.