Spartans hero hospitalized after suffering serious injury in celebration
That Michigan fan who had a heart attack wasn’t the only person hospitalized after Michigan State’s stunning victory Saturday.
The Spartans hero who scored the game-winning touchdown suffered a serious injury during the victory celebration. As Jalen Watts-Jackson lay on a maize "M" in the end zone, his teammates piled above him, he dislocated his hip in the ruckus. The sophomore defensive back was later carted off the field and taken to a hospital.
“Jalen Watts-Jackson, great job scooping it up,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio told the Detroit News. “I think he dislocated his hip, or has a broken hip. He’s at the hospital right now. On that particular play as he went in the end zone, that’s what happened, or before the play, I’m not sure what. By the time I got there he was down. But outstanding play by him.”
Watts-Jackson’s sister reported that he was headed for surgery and would be back next season. She even shared a hospital bed photo that showed the family all smiles — except for the hurting hero.
— Eric Lacy (@EricLacy) October 18, 2015
The game was seemingly over when Watts-Jackson found himself in perfect position to make the unbelievable play.
With the Wolverines up 23-21 and 10 seconds left, Michigan punter Blake O’Neill bobbled a low snap. As the Australian spun around to try to kick it away, he was swarmed by Spartans and the ball popped free.
Watts-Jackson caught it and raced 38 yards for the end zone, taking advantage of Jermaine Edmondson’s blocking and powering through Jake Butt’s hit just before the goal line. The 27-23 stunner set off the celebration, and unfortunately for Watts-Jackson, he wasn’t around to talk about it afterward.
“I feel for him,” junior defensive back Demetrious Cox told the News. “He was in the mix with the freshmen to play. I feel for him. It was a sacrifice I’m sure if he had to go back, he would make again.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.