Calais Campbell almost improbably suited up and started for Arizona Cardinals against the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday. The sixth-year defensive end was carted off the field in San Francisco just four days prior.
While on Arizona Sports 620’s Big Red Rage show Thursday, Campbell described what went through his mind right after his suffered a spinal injury in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ 32-20 loss to the 49ers.
“That was a scary moment,” the 6-foot-8 lineman said. “It was kind of like a stinger, and I felt it all the way through my body all the way to my feet, my legs.”
A “stinger” is pain that originates around the neck. The pain usually travels to the arms and the fingers and causes a tingling sensation, but when it’s really severe, the pain can travel down the person’s legs.
Campbell said he’s had other stingers in his career, but that the one he suffered in San Francisco was the first time he’s felt it down to his legs.
“I was a little scared at the time, but once the feeling came back, I felt like I was OK,” he said. “But the trainers wanted to make sure, because when it goes to your legs, it could be something serious.”
Campbell said he hurt himself trying to tackle San Francisco’s Frank Gore. The defensive lineman said he “tried to put his helmet on the ball” and instead hit his head on teammate Karlos Dansby’s hip.
As the play ended and he was left lying on the field, Campbell said he just tried to move his arms and his legs before he lost all feeling in his limbs.
“I guess I’ll keep my head up [while tackling] from now on,” he said. “And the fact that I can still play the game I love, I have no reason to complain.”
Fortunately, Campbell was able to return to action the following game. The 27-year-old lineman had one of his best performances of the season, posting eight combined tackles, including one for loss, but his team came up short 34-22 at home against Seattle.