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Raiders get first win, lose Darrius Heyward-Bey to neck injury [update]

September 23, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has his head snapped backward after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Steelers safety Ryan Mundy in the fourth quarter Sunday.
Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has his head snapped backward after… (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated…)

The Oakland Raiders picked up their first victory of the season when Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 43-yard field goal on the game's final play to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-31, but receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was knocked unconscious and sustained a neck injury during the game.

Pittsburgh (1-2) led most of the game, but Oakland (1-2) mounted a second-half comeback, tying the score midway through the fourth quarter on a 32-yard field goal by Janikowski before driving into field-goal range in the final 1:43 to set up the game-winning kick.

Heyward-Bey was injured while trying to make a catch in the end zone during a drive that resulted in a touchdown that cut Oakland's deficit to 31-28 early in the fourth quarter. He was coming across the middle when Steelers safety Ryan Mundy made helmet-to-helmet contact in a violent collision.

The Raiders' young receiver fell to the turf and remained motionless for about 10 minutes as he was tended to by medical personnel and the training staff. When he was carted off the field, he raised his right hand to cheers from the crowd. Initial reports indicated he was knocked unconscious and had a neck injury.

[Update, 7:35: The Raiders report that Heyward-Bey is in stable condition and he will be kept overnight at a hospital for observation. The team did not provide information on the extent of his injury.]

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger passed for 384 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions to stake the Steelers to leads of 14-7, 24-14 and 31-21. Mike Wallace was his favorite target with eight catches for 123 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Heath Miller had two touchdown receptions.

Darren McFadden, who had a 64-yard scoring run in the first quarter, finished with 113 yards rushing in 18 carries. Carson Palmer passed for 209 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Heyward-Bey had two receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown.

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For the record: An earlier version of this report said that Darrius Herward-Bey's injury happened during a drive that resulted in the game-tying field goal. It happened early in the fourth quarter during a touchdown drive that cut Oakland's deficit to 31-28.

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