OAKLAND -- While trainers tended to a motionless Darrius Heyward-Bey in front of a hushed crowd at O.co Coliseum and players from both the Raiders and Steelers watching anxiously, Raiders punter Shane Lechler said he was looking for movement. He got it as Heyward-Bey was being carted off the field. The Raiders receiver, knocked unconscious on the field on a pass play minutes earlier, raised his right hand.
"You could tell the whole stadium was anticipating it, hoping he was going to do that just to let everybody know," Lechler said.
Heyward-Bey was taken to the Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where a team spokesman said he was stable and would be held overnight for observation. The Raiders announced during the game that Heyward-Bey had a neck injury. After the Raiders beat the Steelers, 34-31, head coach Dennis Allen said Heyward-Bey has a concussion.
Heyward-Bey was the intended receiver on a Carson Palmer pass in the end zone early in the fourth quarter when he was hit by Steelers safety Ryan Mundy. The top of Mundy's helmet appeared to catch Heyward-Bey flush in the facemask. No flag was thrown on the play. Heyward-Bey's head also hit the ground as he went down.
Trainers crowded around Heyward-Bey for about 10 minutes on the field before loading him onto a cart to be taken off the field. Mundy was visibly affected and after the game said, according to the Associated Press: "We don't try to injure people or anything like that. We understand this is people's livelihood. We take that serious."
Allen said that Heyward-Bey "was able to talk a little bit" before being taken off the field and "was able to move his extremities, so that was a good sign."
Down by 10 at that point, the Raiders outscored the Steelers 13-0 the rest of the way for their first win of the season.
"We care about all these players and there's a lot of camaraderie that goes into a football team," Allen said. "You put a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, into trying to build a championship team, so when one of your guys goes down, especially in a situation like that, it's hard to keep your focus. I thought our guys did an outstanding job of getting their focus back, coming back and executing and winning the game in the fourth quarter."
-- Matt Kawahara