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Penn State Freshman Suffers Spinal Injury

September 24, 2000|From Times Wire Services

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Penn State freshman cornerback Adam Taliaferro suffered a cervical spine injury while making a tackle Saturday during the Nittany Lions' game against Ohio State.

Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, Penn State's director of athletic medicine, said Taliaferro has some neurological damage and paralysis. But the doctor said it's too early to tell the extent of Taliaferro's injuries.

Taliaferro, of Voorhees, N.J., was injured after tackling Jerry Westbrooks at Penn State's 16-yard line in the fourth quarter. Taliaferro was on the field for 10 minutes while team physicians put neck and back braces on him before putting him on a gurney.

Penn State linebacker Shamar Finney said he was standing on the sideline, yards away from the play, and that Taliaferro was pushed in the back by an Ohio State blocker, causing him to lose his balance as he moved in to stop Westbrooks.

"He collided with the running back falling down, which made him hit his head on the lower part of [Westbrooks'] body," Finney told the Columbus Post-Dispatch.

Penn State Coach Joe Paterno said after the game that Taliaferro had some paralysis initially, but he responded well to on-field treatment.

"He had no feeling in his arms, but after they worked on him he got some feeling back," Paterno said.

Taliaferro, 5-foot-10 and 183 pounds, has played in four games, making three tackles, including two against Ohio State.

Doctors said he will remain at the Ohio State University Hospital for at least two days.

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