Lions cornerback leaves Patriots game in ambulance with neck injury

Saivion Smith was joined in the ambulance by his father.

Saivion Smith
Saivion Smith of the Detroit Lions is taken away in an ambulance. Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images

Update: Per the FOX broadcast, Saivion Smith had movement in his extremities as he remains in the hospital for evaluation.

Lions cornerback Saivion Smith left Sunday’s game against the Patriots in an ambulance after suffering a neck injury, per the team.

Smith went down in early in the first quarter after an odd collision with Patriots tight end Hunter Henry. Henry managed to swing his way past Smith, who appeared to hit his head on Henry’s side. Smith turned and appeared to try to pursue Henry, but he collapsed to the ground.

Here’s a replay of the moment, which shows how Smith went down.

Smith’s injury was the start of a scary moment on the field. The Lions gathered around as an ambulance made its way out to their injured defender. Eventually, Smith was stretchered into the ambulance, and a man who later turned out to be his father was allowed onto the field. He join Smith in the ambulance before it headed to the hospital.


Later, a reporter on the FOX broadcast reported that Lions personnel spent several minutes on the sideline watching replays in an attempt to figure out how the injury occurred.

After the game, Lions coach Dan Campbell offered an encouraging update.

“He’s got full motor skills,” Campbell said. “So we’re going to try to get him back on the plane so he can come home. That’s good news.”

The NFL has seen a few concerning injuries recently, including a pair of concussions suffered by Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa that prompted the NFL and NFLPA to update the league’s concussion protocol.

Smith was elevated to the team from the practice squad on Saturday. Per ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, the 24-year-old received a surprise start for Sunday’s game.


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