Injured Bills tight end making 'solid, noticeable progress'

Updated: October 16, 2007, 9:29 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Injured Buffalo Bills player Kevin Everett has been able to walk to some extent as part of his rehabilitation after suffering a severe spinal cord injury during the team's season opener.

Everett's agent, Eric Armstead, told ESPN that the player is now moving his legs and is able to stand upright with the help of a specialized walker. The walker stabilizes his upper body so that Everett doesn't have to support all of his body weight on his legs. With the use of that walker, Everett is able to move his legs on his own and technically take steps.

"He's making very solid and noticeable progress," Armstead told The Associated Press. "He's very excited."

Everett is currently doing two physical therapy sessions of one to two hours per day. When Everett was transferred to Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital rehabilitation center about three weeks ago, he could not move his hands or lift his arms. His agent says that Everett can now lift his arms to about chest high. He can also open and close his hands slowly, which he was not able to do before.

His agent says that Everett is in great spirits and talking to family and friends on a daily basis. Everett is no longer hooked up to any machines, tubes or catheters. But his agent says doctors are not sure when they believe that Everett will be able to stand upright or walk on his own.

Armstead regularly visits Everett and is most impressed by how Everett has been able to maneuver himself in a wheelchair.

"He can go from point A to B on his feet in a wheelchair. He can go as far as he wants to go," Armstead said, noting he's watched Everett wheel himself to the elevator and head outside. "He's showing great movement in his legs."

Everett was hurt making a tackle in the Bills' season opener against Denver on Sept. 9. He arrived at Buffalo's Millard Fillmore Hospital paralyzed from the neck down, and doctors initially feared he'd never walk again.

The prognosis changed a few days later when Everett began showing voluntary movement first in his legs and then his hands.

Armstead said Everett is now able to open and close both hands, another significant step after he showed only slight movement in his fingers while spending the first two weeks of his recovery in Buffalo.

Everett was transferred to Houston because doctors felt it was important for him to be close to his family and friends. The player makes his offseason home in Houston and grew up in nearby Port Arthur, Texas.

Everett was visited by several Bills teammates during Buffalo's bye weekend last week. Former teammates, including cornerback Nate Clements, who's in his first year with San Francisco, have also paid visits.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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