Sept. 9, 2007 – The phrase “it’s just a game” is thrown around at sporting events every so often. It was very true during this Opening Day game for the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
On the second-half kickoff, Buffalo’s coverage team raced downfield to make a tackle on Denver’s Domenik Hixon. It looked like a normal play until Kevin Everett of the Bills didn’t get up. Moments later, it was evident that Everett wasn’t moving.
The reserve tight end was placed in an ambulance on the field. He received emergency medical care before even leaving the stadium, using state-of-the-art techniques. Everett had surgery at Millard Fillmore Hospital that night.
The Bills lost the game, but Everett’s recovery eventually exceeded everyone’s hopes. He was walking on his own by the end of 2007.
Everett was a third-round draft pick of the Bills in 2005, as he played college ball in Miami. The tight end had two career receptions, both coming in 2006.
It’s not fair to say this was a happy ending, but it could have been much worse.
Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.