Two plays into first start with Lions, Saivion Smith taken off field by ambulance

Detroit News

Foxborough, Mass. — Two plays into his first start as a member of the Detroit Lions, defensive back Saivion Smith had to be taken off the field at Gillette stadium by ambulance, strapped to a backboard.

Smith was transported to a local hospital. The Lions reported Smith has movement in his extremities, but is still being evaluated for a neck injury.

On the play where he suffered the injury, Smith went down after getting tangled with Patriots tight end Hunter Henry near the line of scrimmage. It wasn’t immediately clear exactly how Smith was injured. According to the broadcast on Fox, Smith’s father came on to the field and was able to get into the ambulance and join his son.

Play was stopped for more than nine minutes while staff tended to Smith.

Elevated off the practice squad on Saturday, Smith was starting at safety in place of DeShon Elliott. Signed by the Lions late last season, Smith played only a handful of special teams snaps in two appearances. He competed for a job at cornerback this preseason, but was ultimately part of the team’s final roster cuts, eventually landing on the practice squad.

Elliott replaced Smith in the lineup once play resumed.

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