Seahawks’ Ricardo Lockette says handling of neck injury saved his life

Mar 7, 2016, 5:55 PM | Updated: Mar 8, 2016, 8:44 am
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Ricardo Lockett visited Redmond Fire Station 11 today and expressed the importance of teamwork and the great work his trainers exhibited when they saved his life on the football field in Dallas after that horrible hit during that game. He shared that the expertise and education learned by the EMS community was passed to the trainers years ago…who learned how to backboard and protect cervical spines during these traumatic events and this is why he is alive today… Ricardo Lockett is living proof that training, dedication and education are the components that make us better at our job.

Posted by Redmond Professional Firefighters and Paramedics on Friday, March 4, 2016

Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette opened up recently about the severity of the season-ending neck injury he sustained last fall, telling a group of local firefighters that the way team trainers and medics handled the situation saved his life.

Lockette was covering a punt during a game against Dallas on Nov. 1 when a hard hit caused ligament and disc damage in his neck. He remained motionless on the field for several minutes while being tended to by medical personnel, who removed the facemask from his helmet, strapped him to a backboard and placed him on a stretcher before taking him away in an ambulance. Lockette had surgery a day later.

Video of Lockette’s visit to Redmond Fire Station 11 last week was posted to Facebook. In the video, Lockette says he was told by a doctor that the stability in his neck was so compromised that he could have died had he tried to immediately stand up, had someone tugged on his arm or had another player fallen on him during the play.

“What saved my life was the trainers and the work that you guys do,” Lockette says in the video, adding that trainers later told him they handled the situation “perfectly” and “by the book.”

Lockette also said: “I thank God that I’m here. I thank you guys for the work that you do.”

Lockette’s hypothetical comments bring to mind what happened to another Seahawks wide receiver, Sidney Rice, during a 2012 game against Chicago. Rice’s body went limp following a helmet-to-helmet hit as he crossed the goal-line for the game-winning touchdown. Players fell over him while trying to recover the loose ball, and one teammate tried to pull Rice up by the arm before a Seahawks trainer shoved him away.

Rice was fine afterward. According to Lockette, he might have died had the same thing happened to him.

Lockette, 29, is a restricted free agent. He has indicated that he plans on being ready for next season, though that may not be realistic given the nature and severity of his injury and how the video shows he’s still wearing a neck brace.

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