OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was taken to the hospital with a neck injury Sunday after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy that was not penalized.
Heyward-Bey was running across the end zone early in the fourth quarter of Oakland's 34-31 victory to catch a pass from Carson Palmer when Mundy launched his body and lowered his helmet into Heyward-Bey's facemask.
Heyward-Bey's neck jerked violently and his head also crashed into the ground as he lost consciousness. The pass was incomplete.
The Oakland Coliseum crowd fell silent. Mundy and players from both sides kneeled in prayer. The home fans also started a derogatory chant at the replacement officials.
Heyward-Bey's eyes were shut for 10 minutes as trainers attended to him as he lay motionless. He was strapped to a table and placed on a cart. As the cart started to leave the field, he raised his right hand to roaring cheers.
The Raiders said Heyward-Bey was in stable condition and will stay in the hospital overnight for observation.