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Eric LeGrand Paralyzed, Rutgers Defensive Tackle in ICU

Oct 17, 2010 – 4:16 PM
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FanHouse Staff

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Rutgers' defensive tackle Eric LeGrand is paralyzed from the neck down after being injured while making a tackle against Army on Saturday, the school announced Sunday.

The injury occurred after a kickoff with 5:10 left in regulation at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

LeGrand lay motionless for seven minutes while his neck was immobilized and he was placed on a backboard. He was carted off and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

LeGrand went through surgery to stabilize his spine. He is in intensive care at Hackensack and is expected to remain there for the near future, according to a statement released by the Rutgers athletic department.

"We want to say thank you to everyone for all of your prayers, kind words, and well wishes," the LeGrand family said in a statement. "We appreciate every single thought. Eric is in good spirits and we are praying for a full recovery."

"Eric's spirits were as good as you can expect," said Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who visited LeGrand before and after surgery. "He was cognizant of me being there, his mom, everybody.

"He's a fighter."

Schiano, who had tears in his eyes during his press conference following Rutgers' 23-20 overtime win, talked to his team about LeGrand around noon on Sunday.

"As I talked to our team, we're just going to believe that Eric LeGrand is going to walk onto that field again with us," Schiano said. "That's what we believe. We'll see with the speed of which that happens."

LeGrand was hurt after making a violent tackle on Malcolm Brown on the kickoff return after Rutgers tied the game at 17. It appears LeGrand was ducking his head as he made the hit.

As the junior was being treated, players on both teams took a knee and watched.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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