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Tulane player seriously hurt after head-to-head hit in Tulsa game

September 08, 2012|By Chris Dufresne
  • Tulane safety Devon Walker (18) helps teammate Julius Warmsley (92) tackle Tulsa's Kenny Welcome during the first half. Walker was injured on this play when he collided with Warmsley.
Tulane safety Devon Walker (18) helps teammate Julius Warmsley (92) tackle… (John Lew / University of…)

The scariest moment of the early season occurred at Tulsa on Saturday when Tulane safety Devon Walker collided with a teammate near the end of the first half.

Walker lost consciousness and reportedly had to be revived.

He was originally reported to be in stable condition. The latest update is that Walker is in serious condition at a local Tulsa hospital.

[Update, 5:06 p.m.: Walker fractured his spine, Dr. Buddy Savoie said during a postgame news conference. Walker is in stable condition and will need spinal surgery in the "the next day or two."

“He was stable when we transported him,” Savoie said. “I do not think, based on the information we have, his life was ever in danger.]

A Fox reporter at the scene said Walker was administered CPR after he stopped breathing on the field. He was taken off the field in an ambulance.

Walker is a former walk-on from New Orleans.

Several new rules were put in place this season to help insure safety. Kickoffs were moved up to the 35 to promote more touchbacks. Also, any player losing his helmet this year must leave the field for one play.

The injury to Walker, however, was a fluke collision that no rule change likely could have prevented.

There is no getting past the obvious fact that football is a violent sport with inherent dangers.

When a player goes down, all you can do is hold your breath ... and hope.

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