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Tampa Bay Signs Paralyzed Player To NFL

By: Patrick McDermott Getty Images Sport
By: Patrick McDermott Getty Images Sport

I read this story and couldn’t talk about it on the air because it choked me up. Wait till you hear about this young man and what his former coach did for him. Makes all my troubles seem small.

As LeGrand detailed in an October 2011 story for SI.com, he was in on a special teams play against Army on October 16, 2010 at Giants Stadium. LeGrand was hit in what he said felt like a “stinger” (neck collision); he only knew something was horribly wrong when he tried to get up from the turf and could not.

He tried to give the “thumbs-up” signal and could not. He could not do anything, because he had broken the c-3 and c-4 vertebrae in his neck. LeGrand was rushed to emergency surgery, and his mother was told that he would be paralyzed from the neck down — according to the doctors, he would most likely never get off the ventilator. Five weeks later, he proved the doctors wrong and started breathing on his own. Soon after, he was able to stand up with the help of a metal frame, and LeGrand firmly believes that he will someday walk again.

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