Ricardo Lockette's sickening injury during the Seattle Seahawks - Dallas Cowboys game last night was a stark reminder at just how dangerous the game of football can be.
Blindsided by a hit from Cowboys safety Jeff Heath whilst returning a punt moments before the halftime whistle at AT&T Stadium, the Seahawks wide receiver was motionless on the field for several minutes.
Fortunately, Lockette was able to signal the crowd when being carted off the field, but today brought news that his 2015 season is over.
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As reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, and since confirmed by the Seattle franchise themselves, the 29-year-old is heading for surgery this afternoon.
The official statement from the team read as follows:
"Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette will undergo surgery this afternoon at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas to stabilize ligament damage in his neck that he sustained during a collision in Sunday's 13-12 win over the Cowboys."
On a more positive note, it has also been reported that Lockette does have full feeling and motion in his extremities - always a concern when dealing with neck injuries - and, according to his head coach, Pete Carroll, is "not too uncomfortable."
In the grand scheme of things, it appears that number 83 has avoided any major damage. Nevertheless, the special teams star is facing a lengthy time on the sidelines.
Taking to Twitter in the aftermath of the announcement, Lockette thanked those who had already offered their support:
And fans have been quick to wish him a speedy recovery:
Heading into yesterday's clash with Dallas, the wideout was actually coming off his most productive game of the season, having caught his first touchdown of the year against Carolina in week seven.
NFL fans: Was it a dirty play, or was Lockette just unfortunate? Have your say in the comment below...