Washington Redskins' Brandon Banks has injury from stabbing more serious than initially indicated

Brandon Banks of the Washington Redskins had a tube inserted into his chest after being hospitalized for a knife wound suffered during a fight Saturday night. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
Brandon Banks of the Washington Redskins had a tube inserted into his chest after being hospitalized for a knife wound suffered during a fight Saturday night. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 16, 2011; 12:10 AM

The injury Washington Redskins kick-punt returner Brandon Banks suffered Saturday during a fight outside a Northwest D.C. nightclub was more serious than the team and his agent have indicated.

Banks remains hospitalized with a knife wound that was significant enough for doctors to insert a tube into his chest, his agent, James Gould, said Tuesday. Redskins head athletic trainer Larry Hess reported through team spokesman Tony Wyllie that the chest tube was inserted to prevent Banks's left lung from collapsing.

Gould originally described Banks's injury as "a superficial wound" and said he was on the verge of being released from the hospital. He initially said Banks would be released Sunday, then on Monday evening said he would be released within 24 hours. On Tuesday, Gould said he would not be released until Wednesday, at the earliest.

When asked about Banks's condition on Monday, Wyllie said only that team doctors had visited him at the hospital and reported that he was doing fine.

When initially told Tuesday about the more serious description of the injury released by Banks's agent, Wyllie expressed surprise. "You've got to be kidding me," he said, adding that he would try to get more information.

When he called back, Wyllie said, "Larry Hess and our team doctors have been in constant communication with Brandon's doctors and we are aware of the situation."

He said he could not explain the differing descriptions of the severity of Banks's wounds. "You'll have to talk to James Gould about that," Wyllie said.

"He has a knife wound and a tube in his chest," Gould said. "And with that tube, he's had repeated X-rays. I do know that today's X-rays were good, so I'd expect him to be released very soon. There's no sense in rushing. Taking all of the necessary precautions is very important because knife wounds are dangerous. He was knifed in the chest."

Asked to explain the change in descriptions from Saturday night to Tuesday, Gould said only, "I'm not there, so I don't know how deep it was, how many inches it went in, but it was on the left side."

Banks's father, Daryle McNair, has not returned voice mails left for him on Monday and Tuesday. Two people familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Banks's family was reluctant to release much information on the injury, which they said may explain the differing reports put forward by the team and the agent.

"He's in good medical hands and we're all anxious for him to get out and resume his life and his football career," Gould said. "We know for sure that when he leaves the hospital - whenever he leaves - he will be 100 percent."

Gould disputed a WRC Channel 4 report that said that Banks, 23, and his friend and fellow stab victim, Christopher Nixon, may have started the fight outside the Park at Fourteenth club early Saturday.

"The bottom line is Brandon and Chris were victims," Gould said. "The police know that, everyone knows that. And I don't appreciate ones that are at the expense of people that were stabbed. The truth of the matter is, they were victims. That's what I was told, and it has been verified."

The police report filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia Criminal Division says that, according to footage from a surveillance camera outside the building, Nixon and a man identified as Jason Dacosta Shorter "engaged in a verbal altercation in front of the nightclub." The argument "turned physical," it said.

Shorter "briefly argued with [Nixon and Banks], then pulled a knife from his pocket, opened it and armed himself by holding the knife behind his back," the police report said. Nixon "then struck [Shorter] with his fist."

A bouncer from the nightclub tried to break up the fight and got between Nixon, Banks and Shorter, the report said. Shorter "reached over [the bouncer] and initially attacked [Nixon] with the knife. [Nixon] and [Banks] then became engaged in a physical altercation [with Shorter] in which [Shorter] repeatedly stabbed" the two men.

Banks was stabbed in the upper left abdomen, according to the report, and showed his wound to police on the scene before being taken to the hospital. Nixon suffered multiple stab wounds to his face and upper body, the report said.

Shorter was arrested at the scene and has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. He has been released but remains under supervision, according to police.

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