INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP)Los Angeles Chargers tight end Donald Parham was in stable condition and being evaluated for a head injury after being removed on a stretcher during a game against Kansas City on Thursday night.
Parham appeared to lose consciousness and was helped off the field on a stretcher early in the first quarter. He was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he was undergoing further tests and imaging.
”Any time you see that live and you’re close to it, it impacts you,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. ”But then at the same time, you know, we’re trying to play for him the rest of the way, and that’s what our guys did tonight, they laid it on the line and played a whale of a game for him.”
The Chargers lost 34-28 in overtime when Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce caught a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Parham, in his second year with Los Angeles, got his hands on a 5-yard pass from Justin Herbert in the back of the end zone on fourth-and-goal, but he dropped the ball when the back of his head slammed into the ground.
A camera zoomed on his face showed his eyes closed and his mouth open. A teammate briefly tried to move Parham’s left arm, but it was frozen in a bent position.
Trainers and medical personnel removed Parham’s facemask from his helmet and placed him on a backboard. The 24-year-old’s arms were shaking as he was wheeled off while concerned players from both teams watched.
”I’m just hoping for the best. Parham has been an incredible teammate and an incredible friend. He’s been nice to everyone in that locker room, and everyone loves him,” Herbert said.
”Obviously it’s incredibly tough to see him down on the field. But he’s tough. He’s a fighter, and we’ve just got to pray for him and hope for him, and hopefully he’s ready to go.”
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