Russell Gage leaves Cowboys-Bucs game to hospital after frightening blow to head, neck

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 16: Russell Gage #17 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is carted off the field after suffering an injury against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2023 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by
Russell Gage left Monday’s game on a backboard and was transported to a hospital. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Russell Gage left Monday’s playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys on a backboard after a frightening injury late in the game. He was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated for a concussion and neck injury.

Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson made contact with Gage’s head after an incomplete pass late in the fourth quarter of an NFC wild-card game. Gage fell to his rear after the pass, and Wilson hit him from behind, snapping Gage’s head forward. Wilson wasn’t targeting Gage’s head. He was already committed to the tackle when Gage fell.

Gage appeared to try to stand up from the hit, but couldn’t. He remained laying on his back. Players from both teams surrounded Gage as athletic trainers tended to him. After several moments, the athletic trainers placed Gage on a backboard and eventually lifted him onto a cart, where he was taken off the field.

Play resumed after Gage left the field Monday in a 31-14 Cowboys win.

Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after the game that Gage was taken to a local hospital and was being evaluated for a concussion and neck injury. He had movement of his fingers on the field, according to Bowles.

Gage was initially listed as questionable prior to Monday’s game after he injured his back on a touchdown catch in Week 18.

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