In flash, game didn't matter to Jets

November 30, 1992|By New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- As injured Dennis Byrd lay on the groun yesterday, New York Jets cornerback Mike Brim heard him ask the team's doctors, "Am I going to be paralyzed? I can't move my legs."

Suddenly, no one cared at all about the game. Byrd was injured when he put his head down and collided full-force into the chest of teammate Scott Mersereau, who had just missed sacking Kansas City quarterback Dave Krieg. The back of Byrd's helmet also hit the turf as he fell.

A shaken Mersereau said: "I saw Krieg, and it was me and him. I went to grab Krieg, and he stepped up, and the next thing I knew. . . I didn't even know who hit me. Obviously, it was Dennis. He hit me in the sternum, pretty hard -- enough to bend me over backward and knock the wind out of me."

"It makes you reflect on how fragile things are and what's important and what's not," Jets coach Bruce Coslet said. "Our prayers are with him. He's fighting it now."

Byrd, 26, and his wife, Angela, learned last week they are expecting their second child. Angela and Byrd's parents, who were visiting from Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, attended the game.

"It stinks," said defensive end Marvin Washington, Byrd's best -- friend and roommate. "There were a lot of tears on the field, and when they took Dennis off, I told him I love him. Then I thought about his wife and mother and father."

Middle linebacker Kyle Clifton, with a wife and 2-year-old son of his own, fought back tears in front of his locker an hour after the game had ended. The nine-year veteran called it "the scariest" thing he's ever witnessed on the football field.

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