Colts lineman Matt Slauson risked paralysis playing through broken vertebrae

Yahoo Sports

The Indianapolis Colts placed guard Matt Slauson on injured reserve on Monday, a move that caught even the team’s beat reporters by surprise.

Slauson had played every snap of the Colts’ loss to the Patriots on Thursday night, and indeed had played every offensive snap for the team through its first five games.

Turns out, it was a pretty significant injury.

Broke vertebrae in third quarter

Via Indianapolis Star reporter Zak Keefer, Slauson broke two vertebrae early in the third quarter against New England – and kept playing.

Only after the game did Slauson realize that he opened himself up to the possibility of a career-ending injury – in one play, he could have been paralyzed.

“I had no idea how close I was to changing my family’s life,” Slauson said.

Indianapolis Colts’ guard Matt Slauson, No. 68, played all of last Thursday’s game against New England despite breaking two vertebrae in his back in the third quarter. (AP)
Indianapolis Colts’ guard Matt Slauson, No. 68, played all of last Thursday’s game against New England despite breaking two vertebrae in his back in the third quarter. (AP)

Injured reserve, but please stick around

On Wednesday, Colts coach Frank Reich admitted to media that Slauson had suffered a “significant” back injury, and that’s why he landed on injured reserve.

Keefer tweeted that the Colts asked Slauson to stick around the facility and be on hand for practice because they want the 32-year-old veteran to continue to be a leader to the team’s younger offensive linemen.

Originally a sixth-round pick of the Jets in 2009, Slauson has also played with the Bears and Chargers before signing with the Colts on a one-year deal, meaning he’s slated to be a free agent in the spring.

Slauson indicated he’d like to be back with Indianapolis: “I can’t imagine playing anywhere else,” he said to Keefer.

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