Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage was forced to leave Monday night's playoff game on a backboard ... and the scene was scary -- particularly in the wake of Damar Hamlin's on-field medical emergency just two weeks ago.
Gage went down awkwardly late in the fourth quarter of TB's blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys -- and he didn't get up immediately ... prompting officials and medical personnel to race onto the field to tend to him.
Hoping the injury is not serious
By video, no worry for paralysis
Also don't see how he was allowed to get up if spinal cord worry
Hope he is OK. pic.twitter.com/aMfx5v8doy
— David J. Chao - ProFootballDoc (@ProFootballDoc) January 17, 2023
The 26-year-old wideout, who took a violent hit to the head and neck area on the play, stayed down for several minutes ... all while Cowboys and Buccaneers players looked on with worried expressions on their faces.
Gage was ultimately strapped to a backboard and rushed to the hospital.
Following the game, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said Tom Brady's target had a concussion and was being evaluated for potential neck injuries. He was not sure if Gage had movement in all of his extremities.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
"His fingers were moving when he was down there," Bowles said. "I don't know about the rest."
The terrifying moment happened just 14 days after Hamlin was taken off the field in an ambulance during a similar scene on Monday Night Football as well.
Hamlin, thankfully, has since made tremendous strides in recovering from the crisis. We're all now hoping Gage sees similar results.