Rutgers junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand had surgery late Saturday night after breaking his neck while making a tackle on a kickoff against Army, and there is concern about whether he will be able to walk again, according to the Asbury Press.
LeGrand broke his C3 and C4 vertebrae while attempting to make a tackle during a game against Army.
LeGrand fell to the ground and never moved after colliding helmet-first into Army’s Malcolm Brown following a 22-yard kick return with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter of Rutgers’ 23-20 overtime win at New Meadowlands Stadium.
Replays showed LeGrand running at full speed before he drove his helmet into a full-steaming Brown at the 25-yard line. Both players flopped immediately to the turf, but as Brown got up, LeGrand was motionless. His legs hovered slightly off the ground, and his arms appeared limp as he tried to lift his head to no avail, according to the Asbury Press.
Doctors say it’s too early to say what the long term effects will be for LeGrand, but his family, teammates and coaches all expressed their love and solidarity for the player.
“Eric’s spirits were as good as you could expect and he was cognizant of me being there and his mom and everybody,” Schiano said. “I saw him before surgery and after surgery, and he’s a fighter.”