September 9, 2007 -- This was not a happy day in the history of the Buffalo Bills, but it could have been much, much worse.
It's the day that Kevin Everett was injured during the Opening Day game with the Denver Broncos. Allen Wilson of The News wrote this story for the next morning, not knowing that Everett's recovery would turn out to be better than anyone could have hoped:
Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett suffered what could be a career-threatening injury during Sunday's 15-14 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Everett was admitted to Millard Fillmore Hospital with a cervical spine injury. Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said Everett went into surgery about 8 p.m. Sunday, but he didn't know whether Everett had shown any signs of movement since he was driven off the field in an ambulance.
The Bills provided no other details, but a source with knowledge of the situation told The News that Everett's surgeons removed bone chips from his third and fourth vertebrae.There was word at the hospital late Sunday that Everett, 25, was out of surgery and in the intensive care area. He was said to be on a respirator.
"He's had some sparse movement," Everett's agent Brian Overstreet told the Associated Press in a phone interview late Sunday.
"The next couple of days is going to be critical," said Overstreet, responding to a question about paralysis. "Our concern is for him to come out of this healthy and, hopefully, be able to walk again."
Overstreet said Everett came out of a "lengthy surgery" Sunday evening and the plan was for his mother, Patricia Dugas, to arrive from Texas today.
Everett went down after a collision with Denver's Domenik Hixon on the opening kickoff of the second half. Everett lowered his head into Hixon's chest to tackle Hixon and appeared to be knocked unconscious on contact before falling to the turf.
Everett seemed to regain consciousness, but had no movement in his extremities. He was placed on a backboard and stretcher with his head and body immobilized and was loaded into an ambulance near the Broncos' sideline.
--- Budd Bailey