Ricardo Lockette told a group of paramedics and firefighters recently the neck injury he suffered last November against Dallas was so serious that he could have died if not for proper treatment from athletic trainers and medics on the field.
In a video posted on the Facebook page of the Redmond firefighters and paramedics, Lockette said his doctor explained to him how close he was to dying in Dallas on Nov. 1 and how the medical staff’s training saved his life.
“He said if I would have stood up then, the weight of my head — left, right, front, back — I would have died,” said Lockette, who still was wearing a neck brace. “If one of my teammates would have came over and pulled my arm, just barely, I might have died. Or if the returner at the time would have broken a couple of tackles and they would have fell on me, I would have died on that field.
“But what saved my life is the trainers and the work that you guys do. The trainers came over, and they did it perfectly, perfectly by the book. The way that they held my neck, all the training is what saved my life. If they would have went too far to the left or moved me without stabilizing this or that, then I would have been dead. I thank God that I’m here. I thank you guys for the work that you do. And if there’s anything that I can do to help you save another life or whatever it takes — me, my teammates, my family or your workers. I appreciate the opportunity and hopefully I can help you guys. ”
A couple weeks after the injury, Lockette described the surreal experience of lying on the turf in Dallas after taking a violent hit during a punt return.
“It was one of the craziest things I’ve been a part of,” he said. “I’m lying on the ground. You can’t feel your legs. You can’t feel your arms. And you can’t really respond. You don’t really know what’s going to happen in the next couple of seconds. You don’t know if you’re going to black out. You don’t know if you’re ever going to get feeling in your body. You don’t know if this is it.”
He paused and gathered his emotions.
“You just have a real blank mind, and then all the important things start to matter. You start to think about your family. Am I going to play with my kids again? Just the important stuff.”
In mid-November, Lockette said he expected to play next season, even going as far as to say he expected to be a Pro Bowler.
Whatever happens with his future, Lockette made it clear just how severe his injury was.