JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jacksonville Jaguars running back I’Tavius Mathers will be released from the hospital a day after suffering a neck injury during practice.
The team says Mathers will return to the football facility Wednesday and the medical staff will work with him to “decide the best course of action for his recovery.”
Mathers was strapped to a board and carried off the practice field Tuesday after experiencing “neurological symptoms” following a collision. He tweeted late Tuesday that he was OK, posting “Thanks everyone for the prayers I really do appreciate it but I’m fine!!!”
Mathers is a 5-foot-11, 203-pound rookie from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He spent three years at Mississippi before transferring to Middle Tennessee State for the 2016 season. He ran for 1,561 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior last year, averaging more than 120 yards a game.
The Jaguars moved quickly to replace Mathers, signing former Carolina and New England running back Tyler Gaffney. Jacksonville had room on the 90-man roster after placing left tackle Branden Albert on the exempt/left squad list.
Albert, who told coach Doug Marrone on Monday he’s retiring after nine NFL seasons, has five days to return to the Jaguars before going on the reserve/retired list. If Albert changes his mind and wants to play again, he would have to return to the Jaguars. His contract, which has two years remaining, is now paused.
Gaffney, a sixth-round draft pick by Carolina in 2014, has spent significant time on injured reserve. He was a reserve last year with the Super Bowl-winning Patriots.
Gaffney played collegiately at Stanford, where he ran for 2,500 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also played baseball for the Cardinal and was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 24th round of the 2012 MLB draft. Gaffney played 38 games for the State College Spikes, a former Single-A affiliate for the Pirates, before returning to Stanford for his senior year in 2013.
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