LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Virginia running back Perris Jones regained movement in all of his extremities, school officials said, hours after being immobilized on a flat board and carted off the field after being injured on a play late in the third quarter against No. 11 Louisville on Thursday night.
Football spokesman Jim Daves said in a text early Friday that Jones will remain at UofL Hospital overnight.
Jones caught a 7-yard pass from Anthony Colandrea and was starting to run upfield when he fumbled after a hard hit on his helmet by Cam’Ron Kelly with several other Cardinals nearby. Malik Washington scooped up the ball near the right sideline and dashed down the field for the go-ahead touchdown to make 21-14.
Kelly said the play opened up for him to make the tackle and indicated that Jones tried to go low and he went low, too.
“I’m just praying for him,” Kelly said. “I said my piece to him when he was on the stretcher. I’ve got nothing but love for him. I hope he has a speedy recovery.”
Spectators in L&N Stadium fell silent as medical personnel from Virginia and Louisville quickly rushed to tend to Jones as he lay on the turf, and a cart quickly entered the field.
Players from both teams knelt for about 15 minutes as Jones was treated and gently lifted onto the board with his head wrapped between two pads, and then onto the cart as Cavaliers players gathered around.
Fans and players applauded Jones as the cart left the field. He was taken to UofL Hospital for observation and coach Tony Elliott said after the game that Jones was going to have an MRI.
“We are getting some encouraging news, but I don’t want say anything until we get it officially,” Elliott said.
It’s a very, very difficult reality of the sport that we play, that every play can end that way, and you don’t wish that for anybody. Man, I know one thing: (Perris Jones) is a tough young man and he lays it on the line every time he goes out there for this team. (We’re) believing and praying that he’s going to have a full recovery. I’m putting that in the Lord’s hands and I’m asking for that in advance and believing that that’s going to be the case.”
Louisville rallied to beat Virginia 31-24.
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