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Virginia RB Perris Jones Taken To Hospital After Scary Hit, Has Movement


Perris Jones, the running back for Virginia, was moving all of his extremities after being struck in the head late in Thursday night’s third-quarter game against Louisville.

Following the impact, Jones was transferred to the University of Louisville hospital; according to school officials, he eventually regained movement in his extremities.

In a previous press conference following the game, head coach Tony Elliott stated that he was receiving “encouraging” updates from the hospital on Jones’ health. He said that Jones was receiving an MRI at the hospital, but he didn’t elaborate.

When Jones was hit, he had taken a swing pass and was sprinting upfield. On the play, he stumbled and tumbled forward into a group of Louisville players. Louisville trainers hurried outside to offer help as soon as possible because the play was close to the sideline. Although Malik Washington, a wide receiver for Virginia, recovered the fumble and scored a touchdown, officials from both teams gathered around Jones, drawing immediate attention to him.

Players from Virginia, some of them crying, took a knee as the astonished crowd fell silent. Mike Hollins, a fellow running back who survived a tragedy in November of last year that claimed the lives of three of his colleagues, shares a room with Jones. This Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., and Devin Chandler.

Eventually, Jones was rendered entirely immobile and placed on a trolley. One of the players who was closest to the cart before it drove off was Hollins, who wears Perry’s No. 41 on the white tape he wears on the back of his arms.

The team says Jones will spend the night at UofL Hospital for observation.

Before Jones was placed in the ambulance, Virginia athletic director Carla Williams met him close to the stadium tunnel and patted him on the arm, according to an ESPN broadcast during the game.

“It’s a very, very difficult reality of the sport that we play,” Elliott said. “Every play can end that way. You don’t wish that for anybody, and I know one thing, PJ’s a tough young man. He lays it on the line every time he goes out there for this football team. Believing and praying 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’s going to be the case.”

The fourth quarter saw a comeback by Louisville, who won 31-24. This is the seventh game this season that the Cavaliers (2-8) have lost by a touchdown or less. The fumble recovery score on the play that injured Jones gave Virginia a 21-14 lead.

“Nobody wants to see it, and it’s tough to get back motivated, but I believe the guys responded,” Elliott said. “We just didn’t make a couple plays at the end that we needed to make.”

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