Former Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette writes in an article for the Players Tribune that he feared he was going to die on the field in Dallas after suffering a severe neck injury November 1 against the Cowboys.
Lockette writes that he couldn’t hear, couldn’t move and couldn’t feel anything after the hit, which left him wondering: “Am I deaf? Am I paralyzed? What is going on? Am I about to die?” He added that he lay there thinking about his family. “Now, all of a sudden, I can’t move. And the only thing that mattered to me in the entire world was being able to see my family again, to hold my kids in my arms,” Lockette writes. “Then I remembered something that broke my heart. My daughter was in the crowd. It was her 10th birthday. She wanted to come down to Dallas to see me play. Now she was watching her daddy lying on the field, surrounded by teammates and trainers.”
Fortunately for Lockette and his family, an injury that could have left him paralyzed for his life was not as serious as first feared. Within weeks of surgery to repair his damaged vertebra, he was healthy enough to play in a pick-up basketball game with his friends. But Lockette was smart enough and realistic enough to know that his body could never absorb another NFL hit and he announced his retirement on May 1.