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Panthers' Hayden Hurst hopes to play this season after hit vs. Bears caused post-traumatic amnesia

CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 25: Hayden Hurst #81 of the Carolina Panthers smiles on the sidelines prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions at Bank of America Stadium on August 25, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst is working his way back to the field after sustaining a head injury against the Chicago Bears last month that caused post-traumatic amnesia.

He made his first public comments regarding the injury Thursday, detailing the events that followed his hard impact with the grass at Solider Field. His head hit the ground after taking a big hit from Bears safety Jaquan Brisker during the fourth quarter of the Nov. 9 loss.

"I appreciate everyone reaching out & checking on me," he wrote on X. "I suffered a pretty nasty concussion against the Bears a few weeks ago & don't remember up to 4 hours after the game. Scary situation but the Panthers have been incredible walking me through this process."

In another post, the 30-year-old emphasized that while the injury was frightening, it won't end his career.

"I'm starting my return to play this week," he added. "So fingers crossed I make it back for the last few weeks! God Bless & Keep Pounding !!!!"

The update comes after his father, Jerry Hurst, announced the diagnosis and asked for prayers Wednesday. Hurst's father said the tight end would need a "slow recovery." He happened to make that statement on the same day Hurst returned to practice.

Hurst was listed as a limited participant Wednesday and reportedly wore a red no-contact jersey as he rejoined the team for this first time since he went down with the head injury.

The Cleveland Clinic describes post-traumatic amnesia as a form of memory loss that only develops after an injury. It can present in different forms, including difficulty forming new memories and recalling old ones. Confusion and frustration are potential side effects due to the challenges surrounding information about the injured person or their surroundings.

Hurst is in the first year of a three-year, $21.7 million deal with the Panthers. He entered the league as a first-round pick in 2018 and went on to play for the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals. Over his career, he's recorded 1,902 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.

In nine games this season, Hurst has 18 receptions for 184 yards and one touchdown. Based on the timeline he presented via social media, he is aiming to return for the Panthers' Dec. 17 home game against his former Falcons or the matchup with the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 24.