Jasper’s Traylor recovering after scare

Herald Sports Editor

In the aftermath of a situation that had the potential for devastating effects, Devon Traylor knows full well how lucky he is.

The senior linebacker on the Jasper High School football team was released from St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville on Saturday night, less than 24 hours after sustaining a frightening injury in the final seconds of his team’s 31-30 defeat to Evansville Reitz in the Class 4A sectional championship. Traylor is still coping with the effects of what he calls a “really bad concussion.” But he averted a serious neck injury, which a few thousand fans at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium feared as Traylor lay on the field for about 15 minutes while being monitored by medical personnel before he was loaded into an ambulance.


Traylor was taken to Memorial Hospital in Jasper, then transported to St. Mary’s around 2 a.m. There, he received a good report the next afternoon.

“Everything checked out perfect,” Traylor said Sunday night. “They were looking for torn tissue in my neck, because my neck was jammed up and it just hurt really bad. That’s why they took me to St. Mary’s at night. They were going to wait until Monday or Tuesday but they ended up taking me that night because they wanted to see if there was actually anything wrong with it, because if there actually was torn tissue in my neck, if I moved it the wrong way, if I had my brace off or anything, my spine could do something and my bones could come out of place and I could get paralyzed. They were really worried about that.”

So were fans on both sides of the field after Traylor was injured in the furious rush to block Reitz’s game-winning field goal with 9.1 seconds to play.

Within moments, the stadium’s frenzied atmosphere reduced to a whisper-quiet state. Wildcat players knelt on the ground as Traylor was being tended to, and Reitz’s players joined as medical officials didn’t want to move Traylor for precautionary reasons until the ambulance arrived.

“I don’t remember any of it. I just remember getting loaded up and barely remember getting to the hospital,” Traylor said.

“I wasn’t completely blacked out, but I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t know where I was and stuff like that. My eyes weren’t closed and I wasn’t (nonresponsive). They said I was saying a couple words, it’s just I don’t really remember any of it.”

It’s not Traylor’s first run-in with a concussion; he had one his freshman year and one his junior year, both playing football. Still, he’s not swaying from the possibility of playing football in college at possibly Hanover College or the University of Indianapolis, if he doesn’t opt to play baseball.

As for the upcoming basketball season, Traylor isn’t sure when he’ll get the green light to play. He still has to attend appointments with an impact doctor, who specializes in head trauma, and he’s missing the first couple days of school this week.

In the meantime, he’s been bombarded with good wishes. All of Traylor’s teammates and a few more friends showed up at Memorial Hospital late Friday night, and one of his good friends, Shelby Merder, drove to Evansville on Saturday to visit just before Traylor’s good news was handed down.

“I feel really lucky. God did his work,” Traylor said. “My mom and my grandpa and grandma and my dad and my brother were all there the whole night, and they were all just praying the whole night. Once those MRI results and CAT scan results came back good, my (family) just broke down, and they all just came up to me and they told me to thank God. I did, I prayed and thanked him for doing his work, doing his job and just giving me help and making sure there was nothing seriously wrong with me. I thank God for that.”

Contact Brendan Perkins at bperkins@dcherald.com.


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