The head injury of Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst, sustained last month, became even more concerning Wednesday.
The player's father, Jerry Hurst, announced on social media that his son was diagnosed with post-traumatic amnesia due to the hit to the head that he took Nov. 9 against the Chicago Bears. Hurst is reportedly out indefinitely.
@haydenrhurst has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Amnesia by an independent neurologist as a result of the hit he took in Chicago November 9. Slow recovery, don’t know when he’ll be back. Prayers appreciated!
— Jerry Hurst (@jhurst10) December 6, 2023
You can see the hit that likely caused Hurst's injury below. The 30-year-old has not played a game since his head hit the ground at Soldier Field, having been marked out for every game due to a concussion.
— Tanner Phifer (@TannerPhiferNFL) November 10, 2023
What's curious is that the elder Hurst made his announcement the same day Hayden returned to practice. In the weeks since the injury, Hurst had been marked as a non-participant due to a concussion on the Panthers' injury report, but he was labeled as a limited participant Wednesday.
The Panthers' website noted his return, reporting that he was on the field wearing a red no-contact jersey for his first work with the team since his injury. It's unusual to see that kind of public disconnect between a player's team and family.
Hurst is in his first season with the Panthers after signing a three-year, $21.7 million deal with the team last offseason. The former first-round pick played the previous five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals, posting 1,718 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns while holding his own as a blocker.
He didn't have as much success in his first nine game with the Panthers, who have struggled to a 1-11 record and already fired first-year head coach Frank Reich amid myriad offensive issues. Hurst's absence has been yet another obstacle for first overall pick Bryce Young.
Hurst has also spoken about mental health issues in the past, revealing that he attempted suicide while drunk in 2016. He has been sober in the years since then and has remained open about the topic while working as a fundraiser for nonprofits.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 988 at all hours if you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or thoughts of suicide.