Saivion Smith suffered what the team said was a neck injury before being placed on a stretcher and then taken off the field in an ambulance early in Sunday’s game against the Patriots in Foxborough.
Smith suffered the injury during a Hunter Henry 23-yard reception. At the beginning of the play, he tried to jam him, but he would awkwardly collapse to the ground soon afterward.
Before the ambulance left the field, Gillette Stadium security staff allowed Smith’s father, who was attending the game, to join him in the ambulance.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell provided an encouraging update postgame.
“We got news that he’s got full motor skills, so we’re going to try to get him back on the plane so he can come home.” Campbell said. “So that’s good news.”
Sunday marked Smith’s first NFL start after he was elevated from the practice squad on Saturday.
“I hope he’s OK,” Henry said postgame. “I don’t really know, I was running a route and looked back and all that was going on. I really hope he’s OK. You never want to see that, especially in this sport.”