The Huffington Post is reporting that New York Giants starting quarterback Eli Manning suffered a gruesome head injury during the opening preseason game against the New York Jets on Monday night.
Eli Manning Suffers Head Injury During Jets-Giants Game: The Accident
Manning, the younger brother of Peyton Manning, was hit during a fourth-down play by his teammate Brandon Jacobs, causing his helmet to be knocked loose. Manning was then struck by Jets linebacker Calvin Pace.
Pace’s collision with Manning knocked his helmet completely off. Then Pace collided with Manning, causing the head injury. Manning was removed from the game, blood pouring from a gash in his head. The three-inch wound received twelve stitches. See footage of Manning’s injury here.
Eli Manning Suffers Head Injury During Jets-Giants Game: Prognosis
According to Football News Now, there has been no announcement as to a timetable for Manning’s return to play. On Tuesday, Manning underwent a series of tests which revealed no lasting damage from the head injury, and no concussion as had been feared.
In an interview with ESPN 1050AM Manning, explained that the Giants are erring on the side of caution:
“They haven’t given me an exact time frame of when I will be back. I don’t know when I will be able to put a helmet on. I might have to bring out an old leather helmet to get some practice in this week because I don’t want to be sitting around doing nothing when I feel I can play.”
Manning was reportedly back on the practice field Wednesday morning, joining teammates for stretching exercises.
Eli Manning was lucky. Many NFL injuries are career-ending or life-threatening.
Eli Manning Suffers Head Injury During Jets-Giants Game: Worst NFL Leg Injury
Of course, injuries in the NFL are nothing new. Football is a physical game. Opening season games seem to be especially susceptible to catastrophic injuries. Perhaps one of the most horrific football injuries took place in 1994 when Napoleon McCallum broke his leg on Monday Night Football.
As the Raiders battled the 49’ers in their opening game of the season, an audience of millions watched as McCallum was tackled by linebacker Ken Norton Jr.. McCallum’s left cleat stuck into the ground as Norton continued to twist him to the ground. McCallum’s leg bent almost 90 degrees in the opposite direction at the knee. Viewers were treated to the gruesome sight over and over again on instant replay.
As McCallum left the field for medical treatment, his leg looked to be dangling by a thread. The injury, a complete hyperextension of the left knee, ruptured artery, three torn ligaments, calf and hamstring muscle torn from the bone and nerve damage, ended McCallum’s NFL career.
Eli Manning Suffers Head Injury During Jets-Giants Game: Catastrophic Neck Injury
In the first game of the 2007 NFL season, Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett suffered a neck injury while trying to tackle the Broncos’ Domenik Hixon. Everett was taken off the field by ambulance and underwent emergency surgery to save his life. While it was feared that Everett would never walk again, Sports Illustrated reported that, by December, he walked out before a crowd at a Bills home game against the Giants. Everett has undergone several surgeries since then. The injury was career ending.
Eli Manning Suffers Head Injury During Jets-Giants Game: Neck Injury Leads to New Rules
Everett’s injury has led to three new NFL special teams rules designed to increase the safety of the game. The rules include prohibition of the wedge formation on kickoff returns, prohibition of bunching players for onside kicks and penalties for blindside hits when helmet-to-helmet contact occurs.