Death via football practice, sadly, is not so uncommon these days. Just a few days ago, William Wayne Jones III of Tennessee State simply collapsed and died on the practic field after completing a simple drill rep and tossing a football back to his defensive backs coach. Last year, multiple high school football players died due to overexertion in hot temperatures.
University of Houston senior cornerback D.J. Hayden nearly became the latest victim on Tuesday after a collision with a teammate in practice that nearly killed him. Except it wasn’t the typical concussion or neck injury normally associated with high impact football collisions. Somehow, the hit caused a near-deadly leg vein tear which led to massive internal bleeding.
“‘This injury has never been seen or reported in association with a football injury and is more associated with high speed motor vehicle injuries,” said [head team physician Dr. Walter] Lowe via the [press] release. ‘The type of injury D.J. had is 95 percent fatal in the field and we are all very thankful for the coordinate response from the University of Houston trainers, EMS paramedics, the trauma team at Memorial Hermann and operating surgeon Dr. John Holcomb.”
The injury outlined in the release as a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart as one that is very serious and life threatening.”
Talk about frightening. Hayden continues to be in stable yet critical condition, though he is awake and alert. But the mere fact that he’s alive is nothing short of a miracle.