Bengals' Johnson complained of neck pain, released from hospital

Updated: November 5, 2007, 4:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

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.

[+] EnlargeChad Johnson
John David Mercer/US PresswireChad Johnson is transported to an awaiting ambulance by emergency personnel and Bengals medical staff on Sunday.

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.

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