Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett remains sedated and on a respirator this morning, two days after suffering a severe spinal injury in the Bills season opener.
On Monday, doctors told reporters that Everett's injury is catastrophic and that he still risks death unless his status improves over the next several days.
Everett underwent emergency surgery Sunday night to stabilize fractured bones in his spine and damage to his spinal cord.
"A best-case scenario is full recovery, but not likely," Dr. Andrew Cappuccino said, one day after performing a four-hour operation on the player. "I believe there will be some permanent neurological paralysis. ... A full neurological recovery was bleak, dismal."
Cappuccino noted the 25-year-old reserve tight end did have touch sensation throughout his body and also showed signs of movement. But he cautioned that Everett's injury remained life-threatening, saying the player is still susceptible to blood clots, infection and breathing failure.
Everett is currently under forced sedation and breathing through a respirator as doctors wait for the swelling to lessen. Cappuccino said it will take up to three days to determine the severity of the injury and the recovery process.
During the operation, Cappuccino repaired a break between the third and fourth vertebrae and also alleviated the pressure on the spinal cord. Doctors made a bone graft and inserted a plate and four screws.
Cappuccino said Everett was alert and is aware of the extent of his injuries.
He remains paralyzed from the neck down and doctors say chances are slim that he will ever walk again.