Bengals' Brumfield suffers spinal injury Guard at Shock Trauma

collision causes Coslet to recall Byrd misfortune

November 04, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Cincinnati Bengals right guard Scott Brumfield suffered a cervical spinal cord concussion during yesterday's game at Memorial Stadium and spent the night at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center for observation.

Brumfield, a fourth-year player out of Brigham Young, was hurt when he collided with tight end Tony McGee while blocking on a running play late in the third quarter. McGee suffered a mild concussion.

Medical personnel for both teams rushed to attend to Brumfield. His head was immobilized and he was taken off the field on a stretcher.

The good news was Brumfield had full movement of his arms, and some movement in his legs.

Dr. Andrew Pollak, the Ravens' associate team physician, said it is not believed surgery will be necessary and that Brumfield was listed in serious but stable condition.

"It's just a shocking thing," said Bengals coach Bruce Coslet. "We hope he's OK. All our prayers go out to him."

Coslet said the injury conjured up memories of former New York Jets defensive lineman Dennis Byrd, who was paralyzed during a game in 1992, when Coslet served as coach. Byrd also collided with a teammate.

"It sends chills up and down my spine," Coslet said. "I've been through this, the worst it's ever been, with Dennis Byrd."

Bengals quarterback Jeff Blake also was with the Jets that year and had similar thoughts about Byrd yesterday. "I kind of felt like that was happening again," he said. "Hopefully, he'll come around and be able to play."

Brumfield, 6 feet 8, 320 pounds, was trying to throw a block for Garrison Hearst, who gained 6 yards to the Ravens' 3, when he ran into McGee.

"I turned around, getting ready for the next play, and he was on the ground," Hearst said. "I was like, 'Dang, what happened?' "

The drive ended with a touchdown, and the Bengals went on to a 24-21 victory.

"I don't think it took much of a toll on us emotionally," right tackle Joe Walter said of Brumfield's injury. "We just kept telling each other, 'This is for Scott.' And the coaches did a great job keeping us away and keeping our minds on what we had at hand. But I'll tell you, it was a scary sight."

Center Darrick Brilz said, "You have to try and block it out, but it's really hard. You get on the sideline and start thinking about it. I just pray that everything's fine."

Said running back Eric Bieniemy: "In this profession, it's sad, but you have to learn how to deal with those things. The only thing we can do is pray for him and his family."

Coslet took comfort in knowing that Brumfield was attended to properly on the field. But he added, "It's a scared head coach. It's a scared team."

Pub Date: 11/04/96

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