CARSON, Calif. — Denver Broncos cornerback De’Vante Bausby, who was taken off the field Sunday on a backboard, had movement in his arms and legs and returned to Denver with the rest of the team Sunday evening.
Bausby was briefly motionless on the field after he tackled Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler with 14 minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the second quarter. On the play, as Bausby was making contact with Ekeler, linebacker Alexander Johnson plowed into Bausby.
The Broncos’ medical staff quickly removed the face mask from Bausby’s helmet, stabilized his neck and strapped him to the backboard. He was taken to a local hospital.
Bausby underwent several tests, including multiple MRI exams, before he was discharged from the hospital and then returned to Denver on the Broncos’ chartered flight, according to the team. Broncos coach Vic Fangio had said following the game that Bausby would return with the team if a final MRI showed he would be able to be on the flight.
“Everything’s good up to this point,” Fangio said minutes after the Broncos’ 20-13 victory. “… But he has movement in all of his extremities and the news up to this point is positive.”
Bausby, who had battled his way into the starting lineup with cornerback Bryce Callahan missing all of the games this season because of a foot injury, had said this past week he was “proud to have earned the coaches’ trust.”
Bausby has been waived nine times in his NFL career and spent last season in the Alliance of American Football, having signed with the Broncos shortly after the AAF shut down. Sunday was Bausby’s second start of the season, and going into the game, he had played just over 48% of the defensive snaps for the season.
He will have the neck injury evaluated further in the coming days.
Johnson said following the game it was difficult to push the hit out of his mind for the remainder of the day, but that the positive reports on Bausby from the medical staff and coaches was the good news he needed.
“That [tackle] hurt me a lot, knowing I hit one of my teammates,” Johnson said. “… Once you find out he’s going to be OK, you feel better … just thankful.”