Ricardo Lockette's life was changed on the football field in 2015, and it could have ended. That's the message the Seahawks' receiver told Seattle first responders when he visited an area fire department late last week.
Lockette suffered a serious neck injury on a kick return against Dallas last year. Along with visiting the firehouse he told his deeply personal story about how doctors told him he could have died if he tried to stand up, or if his teammates tried to assist him on the field that day.
"I didn't really realize how serious it was until it was over. Because the doctor told me, pretty much, that my skull was ... well, all the ligaments that connect my vertebrae and the cartilage were gone. So, the cartilage is out and the ligaments torn. He said that if I would have stood up then the weight of my head -- left, right, front, back -- I would have died. If one of my teammates came over and pulled my arm, just barely, I might have died. Or if the returner had the time to break a couple of tackles and fell on me, I would have died on that field. What saved my life is the trainers and the work that you guys do."
A scary story had a happy ending. Lockette is still in a neck brace from that fateful hit, but thanks to dedicated trainers and first responders he's here to tell his story now.