Detroit Lions DB Saivion Smith collapses, taken off field by ambulance

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions defensive back Saivion Smith suffered a neck injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots and was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

Smith, making his first start with the Lions, was injured just under five minutes into the game, when he tried to jam Patriots tight end Hunter Henry at the line of scrimmage.

The 24-year-old defensive back collapsed and lay motionless near the line of scrimmage as Hunter was pulled down after a 23-yard gain. One Patriots player immediately took a knee on the field, and a medic rushed onto the field with a backboard.

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Smith was loaded onto the backboard as players, coaches and personnel from both teams surrounded him near the Patriots’ 40-yard line. An ambulance drove onto the Gillette Stadium field, and a person the CBS broadcast identified as Smith’s father got in the front seat as the vehicle left the stadium.

The game was delayed about 10 minutes.

Smith, who was elevated from the practice squad to the gameday roster, started Sunday at safety in place of DeShon Elliott, one of several changes the Lions made to their struggling secondary.

Will Harris started in place of Amani Oruwariye, who was inactive, at one outside cornerback spot, and AJ Parker replaced Mike Hughes as the Lions’ slot cornerback.

Smith, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama in 2019, played mostly cornerback for the Lions this preseason.

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