It has been a difficult season already at Nebraska and things took another bad turn Saturday when senior Shavon Shields, the heart and soul of coach Tim Miles' team, took a scary tumble over an opponent landing on his head and neck and had to be taken from the court on a stretcher.
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The injury occured with 8 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the Cornhuskers' 87-63 victory when Shields leaped to attempt to block a shot from Rutgers' forward D.J. Foreman, who pumped faked to get Shields in the air. Shields came down on top of Foreman rolling over him and hitting the floor hard on his head, neck and shoulders.
He was taken to an area hospital in Lincoln where he underwent a CT scan that was negative. Shields was diagnosed with a concussion and released. He will go through the team's concussion protocol before returning to practices or games.
“We are relieved and thankful Shavon has been released, and that his injuries aren’t more serious," Mile said in a statement post on the athletic department's website. "We will follow the proper protocol to get him back to full speed. I know Shavon and his family are grateful for everyone’s thoughts and prayers.”
Miles reported in interviews after the game that when he reached Shields, he was knocked out and remained so for the longest period of time Miles had ever seen someone knocked out. Eventually Shields came around and told the coach and medical personnel that he could feel all of his extremities, but he was told not to try to move. Shields was immobilized and carried off the court while fans applauded and hoped for the best.
Shields had scored 17 points with three rebounds and three assists at the time of his injury. That effort was good enough to finish the game as Nebraska's second leading scorer behind Andrew White, who had 21.
It remained unclear Saturday afternoon how long Shields might be out of the lineup. He is the team's second leading scorer and rebounder and leads the Cornhuskers in assists. Beyond the health concern for Shields, losing him for the season or a prolonged stretch would have made any possible postseason run next month even more unlikely for a team that has struggled with consistency this season.
Nebraska improved to 13-11 overall and 5-6 in the Big Ten by beating Rutgers.
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