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Helmet-to-Helmet Hits Knock Out Big Playmakers

Zack Follett #49 of the Detroit Lions is taken off the field on a stretcher after being injured on a punt return against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 17, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Lions 28 - 20. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Zack Follett #49 of the Detroit Lions is taken off the field on a stretcher after being injured on a punt return against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 17, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Lions 28 – 20. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Several helmet-to-helmet hits Sunday caused injuries to some of the NFL’s top playmakers.

Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson suffered a concussion and Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson injured his head in a nasty head-on collision in the second quarter of the Eagles’ 31-17 win.

Eagles coach Andy Reid gave no estimate how long Jackson might be sidelined. Same thing for Falcons coach Mike Smith about Robinson.

“He seems to be fine,” Smith said of the cornerback Atlanta signed as a free agent in the offseason. “It was a very violent collision. I saw him and knew he couldn’t return, and that’s all I really know.”

Both players stayed on the turf for several minutes before being helped from the field. Jackson dropped a pass when hit by Robinson, who led with his head and hit Jackson in the helmet. Robinson was flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver.

Jackson had scored both of Philadelphia’s touchdowns and the Eagles led the Falcons 14-0 at the time of the collision.

“That was scary,” Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin said.

Detroit Lions linebacker Zack Follett was hospitalized after a violent helmet-to-helmet hit with a Giants player while covering a fourth-quarter kickoff return.

The Lions said Follett was conscious and had full movement in his limbs. He was scheduled to stay in Hackensack University Medical Center on Sunday night for observation.

Detroit also lost starting quarterback Shaun Hill in the 28-20 loss to the New York Giants. He broke his left arm late in the first half and spent part of the second half on the sideline with his arm in a sling.

Follett’s injury was scary. He lay on the field for about five minutes while attended by medical personnel from both teams. A backboard was placed under his back, he was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

“No evidence at this point of a fracture of the cervical spine,” the Lions said in a statement issued about an hour after the game. “Zack has movement in all four extremities. He will remain here tonight and will continue to undergo extensive tests and evaluation.”

Follett made head-to-head contact with Jason Pierre-Paul on the play on which he was injured.

“I knew right away he was hurt,” Pierre-Paul said.

Also, Browns wide receiver Joshua Cribbs walked off the field despite being leveled by a helmet-to-helmet hit by the Steelers’ James Harrison during the second quarter.

Cribbs, running his first play of the game out of a wildcat formation, was about to be tackled by LaMarr Woodley before Harrison slammed into the left side of Cribbs’ helmet. Cribbs fumbled after gaining 1 yard, but the Browns recovered.

After going to the sideline, Cribbs was examined by the Browns’ medical staff for several minutes. He did not return.

Later in the quarter, Harrison slammed into wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi after a pass from Colt McCoy touched his hands, causing the ball to come loose. The pass was ruled incomplete. Massaquoi did not stay down for several minutes as Cribbs did, but also missed the rest of the game.

Texans All-Pro middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans will miss the rest of the season after tearing his left Achilles’ tendon just before halftime of Houston’s 35-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

“It is tough,” Ryans said. “It was heartbreaking to hear the news that you’re done for the season.”

Ryans jumped and fell to the turf on a touchdown by the Chiefs. He remained on the turf for a few minutes while trainers attended to him before being helped to the cart.

“I was planting to go make a play on the ball,” he said of the injury. “I was trying to jump up and I couldn’t push off my foot.”

Coach Gary Kubiak said Ryans will have surgery in the next couple of days to repair the injury. Ryans, the 2006 Defensive Rookie of the Year, finishes his season with 54 tackles.

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates left the 20-17 loss to the St. Louis with a left ankle injury.

He will undergo an X-ray and an MRI on Monday in San Diego.

Gates injured his left ankle in the second quarter. He came back on the field for a series before he was taken to the locker room late in the first half. He was not on the sideline for the second half.

Gates got hurt blocking on a carry by running back Ryan Mathews.

“I got tripped up and I guess some guys fell on the back of my leg,” said Gates, who was wearing a walking cast in the locker room. “That’s initially how it started. Then on a pass down the middle on the last play I was in, someone fell on my ankle. I just couldn’t go. I couldn’t move.”

And Redskins tight end Chris Cooley left Washington’s game against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half because of a concussion. He had five catches for 37 yards before leaving.

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.