March 1, 2008

Auburn's Coleman injured, taken off field

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn defensive end Antonio Coleman was treated and released from a hospital Saturday, a few hours after he was taken off the field in an ambulance during the Tigers' scrimmage.

Coleman sustained a cervical sprain and had full mobility in his extremities by Saturday afternoon, Auburn spokesman Kirk Sampson said. He is expected to make a full recovery.

The injury looked scarier, though. Coleman lay face down at Jordan-Hare Stadium for at least 15 minutes before he was immobilized and placed on a stretcher to be taken to the East Alabama Medical Center.

"He doesn't have a lot of feeling right now," coach Tommy Tuberville said shortly after Coleman's injury. "They said it's starting to come back. He was moving some."

Coleman was matched up against left tackle Lee Ziemba when he was injured and the action continued after the whistle blew ending the play.

"I didn't see it happen," quarterback Kodi Burns said. "I saw them getting in a fight, but I didn't know what was going on. Usually the coaches break it up.

"It's just real competitive out here, and guys were getting after each other. Sometimes you go after the whistle, even though you're on the same team."

Coleman lay motionless on the stretcher with his neck immobilized and his helmet still on as he was placed in the ambulance to cheers of support from a few hundred fans watching from the stands.

He led the Tigers with 18 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as a sophomore in his first season as a starter.

Coleman's injury prompted Tuberville to end the scrimmage after about 130 plays.

"It's tough. It's tough to see kids lay there," he said. "This is a physical sport. AC goes full-speed the whole time, and you hate to see somebody go off the field like that. He's a tough kid. He's one of the leaders of this group."




 

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