ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Bengals receiver Chad Johnson flew
home with his teammates Sunday after medical tests showed he
sustained no damage to his neck after being hurt late in
Cincinnati's game against Buffalo.
Team spokesman Jack Brennan said Johnson joined the team for its
scheduled flight to Cincinnati after having a CT scan of his neck
at a Buffalo-area hospital. Brennan said test results were normal.
Johnson was hurt when he was sandwiched by Bills defenders
Donte Whitner and Coy Wire while attempting to make a diving catch over
the middle with 1:53 remaining of the Bengals' 33-21 loss to the
Bills. Johnson dropped the ball and was face-down on the field at
the Bills' 37 as the game was delayed for about 10 minutes.
Coach Marvin Lewis said Johnson had movement in all extremities
and was sent to a hospital as a precaution. Johnson had tests
immediately after he was carted off the field and before he was
loaded into an ambulance about 20 minutes after the game ended.
Fellow receiver and good friend T.J. Houshmandzadeh jumped into
the ambulance to be with Johnson.
A second ambulance was required to transport Johnson after the
first one experienced engine trouble, spitting gray exhaust fumes
as it drove onto the field.
Before being carted off, members of both teams gathered around
Johnson, who had his neck immobilized.
"It looked like he was moving his body, but he was in a lot of
pain," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "All we can do is pray for
him and hope that it's nothing serious."
Johnson was stretched out when Whitner hit him across the chest
and shoulder just after the ball arrived.
"I didn't try to hurt him or anything," Whitner said. "I hope
he's all right. ... I hope he's healthy and able to play next week
or the following week."
The initial scene was eerily similar to when Bills tight end
Kevin Everett sustained a severe neck injury during Buffalo's
season opener against Denver. Everett was paralyzed from the neck
down, but has since made a remarkable recovery.
He's currently able to move his arms and legs as he continues
the second phase of his rehabilitation in Houston.
"Our team was there in that situation earlier in the season," Wire said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We felt the same pain they were feeling."
Johnson had taken a big hit earlier in the game, when he was
knocked face-first at the sideline by safety George Wilson. He
finished with three catches for 48 yards. Johnson entered the game
ranked second in the NFL with 731 yards receiving.
The Bills lost two players to injuries.
Slot receiver Roscoe Parrish did not return after bruising a
right quadriceps late in the second quarter. Starting middle
linebacker John DiGiorgio did not return after sustaining a
concussion in the third quarter.
Coach Dick Jauron said both will require more tests.