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Paralyzed for 30 minutes Sunday, Broncos' Bausby points to return

Andrew Mason Avatar
October 8, 2019


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For 30 minutes after a helmet-to-helmet collision Sunday afternoon, Broncos cornerback De’Vante Bausby was paralyzed.

It was one of the most frightening moments ever witnessed in a Broncos game. Dignity Health Sports Park fell silent with concern for Bausby. Teammates dropped to one knee while he was treated on the field.

Perhaps the only person who wasn’t scared was Bausby himself.

“Not really, because I was able to talk, so I was just calm and I just trusted what my doc was saying, so it was straight,” Bausby said.

Bausby never lost consciousness after the cervical-spine injury, which happened 12 seconds into in the second quarter of the Broncos’ 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. He suffered the injury when Alexander Johnson’s helmet collided with his own after Chargers running back Austin Ekeler fell forward and low, sending Johnson into Bausby.

Because Bausby could communicate with the medical personnel attending to him, he was able to receive assurance that he would be okay.

“I was awake the whole time. I was never unconscious. I just couldn’t move. But I was still talking and everything,” Bausby said. “The doctor said I would be fine, and I kind of trusted him, and after 30 minutes I was able to wiggle my toes, and after a couple of hours, I gained full mobility, so I was fine.”

He had recovered to the point where he could walk out of the hospital and join the team on its flight back to Denver that night.

“I was happy. I was ready to get up out of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Trauma Center — I was ready to get up out of there,” Bausby said.

Recovery to return to the football field will take a bit longer, as he said he remains “kind of weak” from the injury. No surgery is required, but he will need to rest.

“Right now we’re just going to take it real slow and just gain my strength back and all that mess,” Bausby said. “I don’t have a timetable, but hopefully pretty soon. My plan is to come back and play, though.”

And just having the possibility of returning to the field at some point is the biggest win Bausby and the Broncos received Sunday.


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