10/16/23 By Mackenzie Bruno
Buffalo Bills running back Damien Harris was carted off the field and taken to the hospital in an ambulance after suffering a neck injury in the second quarter of Sunday night’s game against the New York Giants.
The injury occurred when Harris was tackled by New York Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke on a 1-yard gain up the middle to convert a third-and-1 situation. When Harris was being taken away in the ambulance, he flashed a thumbs up with his left hand.
It appeared that Harris’ helmet hit Okereke’s left shoulder. Harris laid on the turf for several minutes after the tackle, prompting the game to be delayed for about five minutes to assess the severity of the injury.
Damien Harris is 26 years old and in his fifth year in the NFL. He spent his first four seasons with the New England Patriots before signing with the Buffalo Bills in free agency this offseason.
“It’s my understanding he has full movement,” McDermott said following a 14-9 win over the New York Giants. “Fortunate that he is seemingly heading in a good direction, with the reports we are getting. So I am very thankful to God for that.”
Bills trainers and medical staff rushed to Harris’ side after the hit left him unable to move. Last January, Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a near-death experience on the field after what appeared to be a routine hit, much like what Harris experienced on Sunday.
In a much different series of events, Hamlin required CPR on the field in need of being resuscitated because he went into cardiac arrest. Harris did not require CPR and was loaded onto a board and immobilized.
Fans cheered throughout the stadium as they saw Harris give a big thumbs up to the crowd before being loaded into the ambulance. The ambulance that took Harris off the field had Damar Hamlin’s name and No. 3 on the back windows.
Before the hit, Harris entered Sunday’s game with 93 rushing yards and one touchdown on 22 carries on the season.
The Giants led 6-0 over the Bills going into halftime. In the fourth quarter, the Bills recorded touchdowns in the final 15 minutes. Buffalo held on late in the fourth with a goal-line stand on the final play to just barely win by five points.
Damien Harris has since been released from a Buffalo-area hospital per The Schultz Report and ESPN on Monday and is expected to be okay.