Ole Miss freshman tight end airlifted to hospital

By Reuters
Sep 14, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A general view of a football on the field prior to the game between Georgia Southern Eagles and Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss freshman tight end Damarcus Thomas regained movement in his extremities after being airlifted to a hospital following a frightening collision in practice Monday.

Thomas was taken by ambulance from campus to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, Miss., before being flown by helicopter to Memphis Regional Medical Center, according to a statement released by assistant athletic director for sports medicine Pat Jernigan.

“Evaluations have all been positive to this point,” the statement read. “He has regained movement in all of his extremities, and the physicians are optimistic.”

The update did not provide any specifics on Thomas’ injury or diagnosis.

First-year Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin told reporters Thomas initially had no feeling in his entire body.

“He was hit and hasn’t moved since,” Kiffin said. “The helicopter is on its way now. I have to sit here and answer questions and do my job, but right now nothing seems very important. He got hit and never moved and hasn’t had any feeling in his entire body.”

Running back Jerrion Ealy told the Clarion Ledger the injury occurred on a “normal football play.”

“We’re all just in shock,” Ealy said. “I can’t really say too much about it because it’s just shocking. It’s one of those freak accidents that happens on a football field that you only hear about and you never see. It’s kind of eye opening.”

Kiffin said that Thomas’ family had been informed. The 6-foot-1, 245-pound native of Whatley, Ala., was ranked as a three-star prospect in the Class of 2020 by 247 Sports. He has played in five of the team’s six games this season.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that, personally,” Kiffin said. “We were a little over halfway through practice. We started moving the ball and things like you usually do, then you go back and check on him, but I don’t think there was any way to practice, seeing what we saw. Coaches want to get reps and all those things, but I could care less.”

Mississippi (2-4, 2-4 SEC) is scheduled to play its next game on Nov. 14 at home against South Carolina.

–Field Level Media