Tulane Player Breaks Neck, May Have Stopped Breathing During Game
Tulane’s Devon Walker was involved in a helmet-to-helmet collision with a teammate during Saturday’s 45-10 loss to Tulsa in in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The hit resulted in Walker suffering a broken neck.
The Detroit Free Press reports that after the collision, Walker’s shoulder pads and helmets were removed by medical staff, who appeared to administer CPR. When Walker resumed breathing, he was taken from the stadium by ambulance. The paper also cited various sources that a tracheotomy was also performed and that Walker suffered a collapsed lung.
CNN, quoting Dr. Felix Savoie, orthopedist for Tulane University and chief of sports medicine at the school, however claims that Walker was breathing throughout.
“It went as well as it can go,” Savoie told CNN. “I do not think, based on the information we have, that his life was ever in danger.”
While his life might not be in danger, he 6-foot-1 Tulane safety isn’t out of the woods just yet. He suffered a cervical spine fracture and has significant swelling on his neck. The CNN report makes no mention of a collapsed lung or tracheotomy.
Tulsa was leading 35-3 and was facing a fourth-and-2 inside the Tulane 35-yard line. Tulsa went for it, with quarterback Cody Green completing short pass to Willie Carter, who made the catch and ran to around the 18-yard line when he was sandwiched by Tulane defensive tackle Julius Warmsley and Walker. Warmsley and Walker’s helmets collided on the play, and Walker remained motionless on the field.
Walker, 21, is a senior majoring in cell and molecular biology. His condition Saturday night was listed as stable and he is slated for surgery in the next several days.