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Houston Safety Injures Neck

August 6, 2002

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CANTON, Ohio (AP) _ Houston safety Leomont Evans suffered an apparent serious neck injury Monday night during the first half of the Texans’ NFL debut against the New York Giants.

With 12:24 left in first half of the Hall of Fame game, Evans was rushing the punter from the right side when he lowered his head and tried to power past Giants running back Sean Bennett.

After briefly engaging Bennett, Evans dropped face first to the artificial turf as the ball was kicked.

The 28-year-old defensive back was motionless as teammate Avion Black returned the punt 71 yards to New York’s 18.

A team spokesman said Evans had no feeling in his arms and legs, but was conscious. He was taken to Aultman Hospital for further tests and treatment.

Houston’s training staff rushed onto the field as soon as they could to tend to Evans, who signed with the club as a free agent in December.

As Evans was being treated, the Texans knelt as a group in prayer in front of their bench. Soon after, several of New York’s players also dropped to a knee for Evans.

Emergency personnel then strapped Evans on a backboard and took his facemask off before immobilizing his head and placing him on the stretcher.

Evans was drafted in the fifth round in 1996 by Washington out of Clemson.

He started all 16 games with the Redskins in 1999. He was cut in 2000 by Detroit and played last year in the XFL.

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