Eagles Hobbs has full movement after neck injury

Eagles kick returner Ellis Hobbs is taken from the field on a stretcher after suffering a neck injury on the second-half kickoff against the Giants.
Eagles kick returner Ellis Hobbs is taken from the field on a stretcher after suffering a neck injury on the second-half kickoff against the Giants.
Posted: November 22, 2010

One moment, there was a wall of sound.

The next, there was veil of silence.

The quiet lasted for around 10 minutes, too, as medical personnel worked on Eagles returner Ellis Hobbs, who was injured on the second-half kickoff.

After the long, anxious delay, Hobbs left the field on a stretcher, raising both fists to salute the crowd in Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles announced that Hobbs had suffered a neck injury but that he had full movement of his extremities and that X-rays were negative. Eagles coach Andy Reid said after Sunday night's 27-17 victory over the New York Giants that Hobbs would undergo an MRI exam on Monday.

"So many things go through your head," said Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who was on the field with the rest of the team while medical personnel were working on Hobbs. "You start thinking about his family. At the end of the day, it's just a game."

Hobbs was hurt as he was returning the kickoff. He was spun around by Giants defensive back Brian Jackson; lowered his head; and collided, helmet-to-helmet, with Giants defensive end Dave Tollefson.

Tollefson, whose head also was lowered, was not penalized on the play. The NFL announced in October that it would crack down on helmet-to-helmet hits with increased fines and possible suspensions, especially on defenseless players.

"It's part of the game, but it's an ugly part," Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp said. "You never want to see that, not with your team, not with the other team."

The Linc was buzzing with excitement at the start of the second half, as the Eagles held a 13-3 lead in the nationally televised battle for first place in the NFC East.

On the kickoff return, Hobbs' head was down and the hit from Tollefson appeared to make impact at the top of Hobbs' helmet. Hobbs collapsed to the ground and fumbled the football, although the Eagles' Clay Harbor recovered.

Hobbs lay motionless on the field. The stadium went still.

"It looked like it was bad," Reid said.

Reid said Hobbs wanted to get up.

"He was trying to fight to get up," Reid said. "We had to keep him down."

At one point, Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder, who was administering to Hobbs, motioned to Reid to come over and talk with the player.

"I did," Reid said, when asked if he told Hobbs to stay on the ground. "He was upset. He wanted to get up and go. I told him to trust the guys who were working with him, to make sure things were OK."

"I was concerned," said Patterson, who has replaced Hobbs in the starting lineup at right cornerback the last three games. "We all were concerned. But it looks like all is well."


Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223 or panastasia@phillynews.com.

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