September 24, 2012
No one looks at big hits quite the same in football any more. As more and more news comes out about the long-term effects of brain damage and concussions, massive collisions can be tough to watch.
Kentucky had one of those plays on Saturday. In the second quarter of UK's 38-0 loss in Gainesville this weekend, Florida quarterback Jeff Driskell hit Jordan Reed for a 25-yard gain down the right seam. Then UK's Mikie Benton and Ashely Lowery hit Reed - hard.
Here's the video:
Benton was the boundary safety on the play. Lowery was the field safety. They hit Reed at almost the same time from opposite sides, and Benton (who was flagged for a 15-yard penalty on the hit) comes in high, knocking Reed's helmet off.
Reed holds onto the ball, pops back up and finishes the game. Lowery, if you look closely, might have gone out cold for a second, as he doesn't use his arms to brace his fall. He stayed down a few seconds, then walked off to the sidelines and did not return.
Both Lowery (No. 5) and Reed sustained head injuries from the massive hit. Officially, neither has a concussion. According to Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post, Florida coach Will Muschamp said Reed sustained a head injury but should be able to play when the Gators face LSU on Oct. 6. Florida has a bye this week. Lowery is day-to-day with concussion-like symptoms, Joker Phillips said on Monday.
And if it was tough to watch the first time, it doesn't get any easier when you realize there were two injuries on one play.