Lions’ Follett hospitalized; Hill breaks arm

Associated Press

East Rutherford, N.J. — Detroit Lions linebacker Zack Follett was hospitalized after a violent helmet-to-helmet hit with a Giants player while covering a fourth-quarter kickoff return.

The Lions said Follett was conscious and has full movement in his limbs. He will stay in Hackensack University Medical Center on Sunday night for observation.

Detroit also lost starting quarterback Shaun Hill in the 28-20 loss to the New York Giants. He broke his left arm late in the first half and spent part of the second half on the sideline with his arm in a sling.

Follett’s injury was scary. He lay on the field for about five minutes while attended by medical personnel from both teams. A backboard was placed under his back, he was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

“No evidence at this point of a fracture of the cervical spine,” the Lions said in a statement issued about an hour after the game. “Zack has movement in all four extremities. He will remain here tonight and will continue to undergo extensive tests and evaluation.”

Players on both teams took a knee after the play, which happened in roughly the same spot where Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury in a game against Army on Saturday.

Follett made head to head contact with Jason Pierre-Paul on the play on which he was injured.

“I knew right away he was hurt,” Pierre-Paul said.

Hill was hit by Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield on an incomplete pass to Kevin Smith. He immediately left the field and was replaced by Drew Stanton, who started the second half.

“Shaun Hill has a fracture in his forearm, his non-throwing arm,” Schwartz said. “He wanted to go back in but he had a hard time, no matter how we splinted it, trying to take a snap.”

The Lions almost needed No. 3 quarterback Matthew Stafford late in the game when Stanton was dinged. Stafford jogged on the field, but Stanton motioned that he was OK.
Oct. 17, 2010