College Quarterback Recovering After Vicious Hit [VIDEO]
University of Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel is awake and has movement in all four limbs while undergoing medical evaluation at Memphis' Methodist University Hospital, the team announced early Friday. Kiel was stretchered off in the first quarter against Memphis Thursday night after taking a big hit to the head.
After calling a third-down keeper play, Kiel was hammered mid-slide by Tigers defensive back Chauncey Lanier, who was initially flagged and ejected by referees for targeting Kiel. Referees overturned the call after reviewing the play on video, concluding from the replay that Lanier hit Kiel with his shoulder, instead of leading with his helmet as originally ruled. Kiel lay motionless on the field as training staff immobilized his neck and head, then lifting him onto a stretcher. At the time, television announcers stated that it appeared Kiel was able to respond to staffers as well as move his toes.
Kiel was 7 of 11 for 63 yards with a an interception before his injury. He also ran for a first quarter touchdown. Kiel was replaced by freshman Hayden Moore, who passed for a school-record 557 yards and threw four touchdown passes in relief, but in the end, Cincinnati lost a 53-46 shootout.
This is not the first head injury for the red-shirt junior from East Columbus High School in Columbus, IN. Kiel left last week's game against Miami of Ohio with a head injury, but was cleared by Cincinnati medical staff to play Thursday. The quarterback's first head injury dates back to Dec. 27 of last season, when he was forced from a game against Virginia Tech.