Kansas suffered two serious injury scares Saturday.
Freshman defensive back Derrick Neal and senior defensive lineman Keon Stowers were both carted off and taken to a nearby hospital for further tests during the first half. Both players were communicating with medical personnel and had mobility, KU officials said.
The Jayhawks lost Neal after a scary scene midway through the first quarter. On the ensuing kick after the Jayhawks’ first touchdown, Neal’s body went lifeless after putting a hit on return man Devin Chafin. Neal stayed down for close to three minutes, while KU’s training staff inspected Neal and a cart was summoned. Eventually, Neal stood up under his own power and was carted off the field to undergo more tests at a nearby hospital.
In the second quarter, Stowers was also carted off the field after attempting to make a tackle. Stowers was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field.
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“Both of those guys are getting checked out,” KU coach Clint Bowen said.
“We have a great medical staff. It’s hard; it brings back the reality of football sometimes that injuries do happen. And those are our teammates and kids that we care a ton about.”
▪ Senior linebacker Ben Heeney had his first career rushing attempt during a short-yardage situation early in the second half. The Jayhawks faced a fourth and 2 on the first possession after halftime.
Heeney, a former standout running back at Hutchinson High School, made one man miss but couldn’t make the first down.
“Ben kind of sparked the interest when he had the interception in the (Texas Tech) game and he ran like a mad bull,” Bowen said. “So we were struggling to find a short yardage back to stick it up there on and third and 1, and obviously if you’re going to put the ball in someone’s hand that has a pretty good intention to get things done, Ben Heeney’s a pretty good candidate.”