Vikings' A.J. Jefferson 'couldn't talk' or move after concussion
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- A.J. Jefferson tried to move after he hit the ground, but he couldn't. He heard teammates talking to him but couldn't respond.
"I've never had a concussion before, so that experience for me was mind-blowing," said Jefferson, who has been cleared to play in this week's game at St. Louis and was listed as probable (virtual certainty of playing) on the injury report.
"I was actually conscious -- I just kind of was unresponsive for a little bit. I was kind of dizzy, didn't know what was going on, couldn't talk or respond. As soon as I came to, I felt fine. But of course, they've got to take you in and test you."
Jefferson was chasing Bears halfback Matt Forte after a catch on second-and-2 when his teammates converged on the play. Henderson made contact with Jefferson, whose head then propelled in to Sanford's body.
"I'm on the outside squeezing in, and Erin hits me, and then Jamarca's hit is the one that actually got me in the head." Jefferson said. "They're out there. Everybody's trying to make a play, man. So, it's like, the friendly fire -- I can't really be mad at them for that."
Jefferson was down on the field for a short time, eyes open and arms at a strange angle, as the Vikings' doctors rushed to his side. By the time he walked off the field, his mother had been summoned to the locker room.
"She was fine until she saw that I was OK, and she actually started balling her eyes out," Jefferson said. "I was like, 'You can't cry now. I'm fine now.'"
Jefferson took the ImPACT test after the game and again on Monday. Per NFL protocol, Jefferson then had to show he could work out and run without getting a headache before seeing an independent neurologist, who cleared him on Wednesday.
He smiled as he spoke about the incident on Friday, saying he had any headaches this week and mostly has concentrated in practice on getting his wind back. But he acknowledged the experience gives him pause about the danger of concussions.
"It was crazy, man," Jefferson said. "I seen everybody talking to me and everything. But just coming to, coming back from that, you had that kind of experience, you're like, all right, you got to take these head injuries seriously, because that's not something I ever want to experience again."