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Everett Diagnosis: Fractured Cervical Spine

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Update [2007-9-10 21:39:32 by Brian Galliford]: One more Everett update today, and unfortunately it's the worst news yet. ESPN is reporting that doctors have revealed that Everett is unlikely to make a full recovery from his injuries:

"A best-case scenario is full recovery, but not likely," Dr. Andrew Cappuccino said, one day after performing a four-hour operation on the player. "I believe there will be some permanent neurological paralysis. ... A full neurological recovery was bleak, dismal."

Cappuccino noted the 25-year-old reserve tight end did have touch sensation throughout his body and also showed signs of movement. But he cautioned that Everett's injury remained life-threatening, saying the player is still susceptible to blood clots, infection and breathing failure.

This is no longer close to being about football. This is about a young man fighting for his life. It seems as the longer time drags on, the more danger Everett is in. More than ever, Everett needs our thoughts and prayers - so we give them. 24 hours later, this is much more difficult to take - but we know that Kevin is fighting. He is weakened, but he is fighting. Let's be his strength. The support for Kevin has been outstanding - a big thank you goes out to all the fans, Bills and non-Bills alike, for leaving your thoughts with us; a bigger thanks goes out to my colleagues here at SB Nation for their thoughts and condolences as well. You, too, are providing Kevin, his family, the Bills organization and its fans with strength in these trying times.

Update [2007-9-10 17:42:14 by Brian Galliford]: Bills team doctors spoke with the media this afternoon, and the news was bad - Kevin Everett has a fractured cervical spine. Not all the news is bad - while the injury is severe, Everett's spinal cord remains intact and mostly undamaged. Bone and disc material were pushing on the cord, causing loss of feeling and paralysis; the surgery performed last night was a decompression surgery that will hopefully alleviate these problems. It was confirmed that Everett did have (slight) feeling in his limbs prior to surgery and that he did have some voluntary movement as well. Everett was alert and spoke with his mother before consenting to the surgery. He has been placed in a medically induced coma, and doctors are cautioning that Kevin is still considered to be in a life-threatening situation.

This is obviously having a huge effects on Everett's teammates; punter Brian Moorman was very emotional in saying the following:

"I think it's probably the hardest thing I'll ever have to go through as an individual just watching him go through something like that," said an emotional Brian Moorman. "It's a close team, probably the closest team I've been on since I've been in Buffalo, and when you see that happen it's really tough. I hope it's the last time I ever have to choke back tears on the middle of the playing field."

As mentioned earlier today, doctors won't have a prognosis until Everett is brought out of his medically induced coma over the next day or two. Blood clots and infection are the doctors' biggest fears now. Once again, we ask that you keep Kevin Everett in your thoughts and prayers over the next 24 hours; we'll keep you updated as we hear more on this front. Pull for this kid harder than ever, football fans - this kid needs it.

Former Panther Gaines Signed
After the Everett injury and the pre-game release of Matt Murphy, the Bills on Monday signed TE Michael Gaines. The former Panthers is 27 years old, has three years of NFL experience and at 6'4", 277 pounds has the frame to be a difference-maker in the run game. Expect to see Gaines suit up straight away for this weekend's trip to Pittsburgh - while Robert Royal and Ryan Neufeld will probably see the bulk of pass plays, Gaines could be a valuable run blocker and special teamer (especially on return units) immediately for this team. This is a very solid signing for a young ballclub.

Update [2007-9-10 17:42:14 by Brian Galliford]: More tight end activity today - the Bills have officially placed Everett on Injured Reserve and re-signed Matt Murphy, who was released this past Saturday. The Bills will keep four tight ends on their roster, with Murphy and Gaines joining Royal and Neufeld.