It was just a normal “football play” that resulted in a serious injury for Tennessee State linebacker Christion Abercrombie.
According to The Tennessean, TSU head coach Rod Reed said in a radio interview Sunday morning that Abercrombie “was taking on a block” in the second quarter against Vanderbilt when he suffered what has been deemed a serious head injury.
“It wasn’t anything malicious or dirty or anything like that. Just an unfortunate situation,” Reed said.
The school said early Sunday evening that Abercrombie was still in critical condition.
Update on Christion Abercrombie – September 30, 2018 pic.twitter.com/T9XuJcnwPp
— TennesseeSt Football (@tsu_football) September 30, 2018
“Christion is resting,” his mother Staci said in the statement. “He’s fighting. We’re trusting God and please continue to pray.”
Coach Rod Reed added: “My thoughts and prayers are with Christion and his family. He’s fighting, and we just need to keep him uplifted with prayers.
Following the play, Abercrombie went to the TSU sideline and told trainers he had a headache. Soon after, he collapsed. Abercrombie was administered oxygen on the sidelined and rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He underwent emergency surgery, TSU said, and is listed in critical condition.
Reed told WNSR that there was no change in Abercrombie’s status overnight. The seriousness of the situation was quickly pretty clear to the medical staff.
Reed added there had been no change in Abercrombie’s condition overnight and that he is still in “very critical condition.” Reed said the training staff quickly picked up on the seriousness of Abercrombie’s condition after he came to the sideline.
“Immediately, you go into concussion protocol at that point,” Reed said. “He was removed from the game and as they were taking him into the locker room he collapsed and the EMTs took over from there.”
After the game, which Vanderbilt won 31-27, the two teams prayed together for Abercrombie.
— Jeremy Buchanan (@jeremyrbuchanan) September 29, 2018
“We just all came up to say a prayer for that young man, his family and his football team,” Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said after the game.
“At the end of the day, I’m a football coach coaching a team and coaching a game. But football is what we do, not who we are. I know what it is to be a coach. I know what it is to have a player who’s injured. At the end of the day, when serious injuries happen, football becomes secondary.”
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