Panthers rookie Chandler Zavala travels home with team after going to hospital with neck injury

Carolina Panthers guard Chandler Zavala (62) is tended to after being injured in the first...
Carolina Panthers guard Chandler Zavala (62) is tended to after being injured in the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)(Carlos Osorio | AP)
Published: Oct. 8, 2023 at 11:11 PM EDT
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DETROIT (AP) — Carolina Panthers guard Chandler Zavala was released from a hospital and traveled home with the team after being carted off the field with a neck injury late in the first quarter against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The rookie was injured on a running play and the medical staff took time to secure his neck with a brace. He was placed on a backboard and onto the back of a cart. Zavala was taken to a hospital, where he was alert and able to move all extremities.

“We think it was a bad stinger, but our medical staff is always going to take every precaution to protect our players,” Panthers coach Frank Reich said after Detroit’s 42-24 win.

Carolina’s players left the sideline to be near their injured teammate and surrounded the cart before Zavala was removed from the field.

The Lions left their sideline in a show of support for Zavala, who drew cheers from the crowd as he was taken for further evaluation.

Zavala gave a thumbs-up while being carted off the field.

The Panthers drafted Zavala in the fourth round out of North Carolina State.

Nash Jensen, an undrafted rookie from North Dakota State, filled in for Zavala at left guard.

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