Gunner Kiel was knocked out of Thursday night’s game at Memphis in the first quarter after getting his head slammed into the artificial turf on a hard hit at the end of a short run.
It was touted as a huge game in the American Athletic Conference, and the 2-1 Cincinnati Bearcats and 3-0 Mephis Tigers got a national slot on ESPN to showcase their teams and their conference. Unfortunately, things went bad early on in the game.
With less than four minutes remaining in the first quarter, Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel attempted a slide to the ground after scrambling out of the pocket, when Memphis defensive back Chauncey Lanier came in helmet first, and hit Kiel, knocking his helmet into the turf.
Kiel lay motionless on the ground for a few minutes before being stretched off the field and examined by the team’s medical personnel. Once he was in the locker room it was reported that he had regained consciousness and was able to move his extremities.
The most recent reports out of Memphis are that Kiel has been transported to University of Memphis hospital with his family for evaluation, and there is no known change to his condition. ESPN’s Kaylee Hartung, who has been on top of the story all evening, is at the hospital and reported that Kiel was “conscious, moving all four limbs, and communicating with his family.”
Kiel had to come out of last week’s game against Miami (Ohio) with a neck injury, but was medically cleared to play in tonight’s contest with Memphis. Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville commented on Kiel’s toughness in a halftime interview, calling Kiel tough, and saying “we’re praying for him”.