TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Just two weeks after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and needed to be resuscitated on the field, another sobering moment occurred in front of a prime-time audience on Monday night when Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage was taken off by stretcher late in the fourth quarter of a wild-card playoff game against Dallas.
Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said Gage had movement in his fingers. He was taken to a hospital with a concussion and was being evaluated for a neck injury.
“Definitely hope he’s doing well. He was moving so that’s a good sign,” teammate Lavonte David said.
Gage was injured 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.
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.”