The NFL very nearly had a player die on the field last year. One wrong move from the player, from the medical staff, or even from a teammate trying to help him up and the NFL would have had someone die on the field from a devastating hit on special teams. That's what Ricardo Lockette had to say to some local fire fighters anyway.
"I didn't really realize how serious it was until it was over," Lockette said. "Because the doctor told me, pretty much, that my skull was ... well, all the ligaments that connect my vertebrae and the cartilage were gone. So, the cartilage is out and the ligaments torn. He said that if I would have stood up then the weight of my head -- left, right, front, back -- I would have died. If one of my teammates came over and pulled my arm, just barely, I might have died. Or if the returner had the time to break a couple of tackles and fell on me, I would have died on that field. What saved my life is the trainers and the work that you guys do."
Luckily, that didn't happen. The hit was so obviously serious that nobody dared to move Lockette that day and his care was handled in the only way that allowed his survival. Crazy. We watch football every Sunday and cheer these big hits, but sometimes we forget that there is a real human on the other side and how deadly these massive hits can really be.
Ricardo Lockette is expected to officially retire at a press conference today at the team facilities. With a neck injury this devastating there is no surprise there, but it is still sad to see a player so badly injured that they can never play again. He is lucky to be alive though and knows it, so this moment is still much better than the alternative.
Lockette was an undrafted player who earned his way into the regular rotation for the Seahawks. He is being forced to call it quits after 5 seasons in the NFL right when he was really becoming a valuable member of his team. At 30 years old he still has a lot of life left to live though outside of the gridiron, especially considering that just one wrong movement would have ended that life last year on the field at AT&T Field in Arlington Texas.
Ricardo Lockette to announce his retirement, per report - Field Gulls
It's being reported, as expected, that Lockette will announce his retirement.
Ricardo Lockette is expected to retire from the NFL after serious neck injury - SBNation.com
He suffered a serious neck injury last November.
Ricardo Lockette's NFL career is over after 5 seasons.
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