ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Denver linebacker Zaire Anderson says he didn’t regain feeling in his arms or legs until he was on the way to the hospital after being carted off the field during the Broncos’ 24-6 win over the Oakland Raiders.
Anderson dived while covering a punt and jammed his neck when his helmet struck teammate Quentin Gause’s hip. The stadium grew quiet and teammates knelt on the field in prayer while the second-year pro from Nebraska was strapped to a backboard and carted off.
“Only thing I remember is I was trying to get up and I couldn’t and I couldn’t feel my arms and legs at all. I tried to move them and I couldn’t feel them,” Anderson said Monday when players reported for season-ending physicals.
“I was scared. I was crying and everything because I’ve never been through nothing like that. At first I could feel my hands starting to come back a little bit, but my legs still felt numb. When I got in the ambulance my legs started to come back, too. So, It’s a blessing.”
Anderson, who said he still has tingling in both shoulders, was knocked unconscious on the play and when he came to and tried to get up, “it felt like gravity was just holding me down,” he said.
He said doctors told him he compressed his spinal cord.
As Anderson was recounting the scary scene, linebacker Corey Nelson leaned in and told him, “I was scared for you. I was so scared, bro.”
“It puts a lot of things in perspective,” Anderson said. “I’ve never even questioned something like that happening to me, so it was crazy.”
Anderson said he’s glad he won’t have to hit again until training camp.
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