Oakland Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley is expected to recover from an apparent neck injury he sustained on a scary and unusual collision with a teammate Monday night.
Conley was lying on the ground, trying to stop Royce Freeman of the Denver Broncos by holding onto his shirt, when Raiders rookie Johnathan Abram came in to assist with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Freeman. That was scary enough, but as Abram fell, the back of his thigh struck Conley’s head, jamming it downward. Conley grabbed his head and briefly lay motionless on the turf before being taken off on a cart as a precaution. He gave a thumbs-up sign as he left the field.
“I got good word on him that he’s going to be okay,” Coach Jon Gruden said after the game. “I don’t know his status for the next game, but most importantly the kid is all right. That was a scary hit that he took, but all the reports that I have are very, very positive.”
Abram, a first-round draft pick out of Mississippi State, was penalized on the play, which came in the third quarter of the Raiders’ victory, for leading with his helmet.
“I really didn’t see what happened,” Abram said. “I think the running back fell on top of him or something. We were praying for him. But we had to go out there and finish the game for him.”
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