Tennessee State middle linebacker Christion Abercrombie collapsed on the sideline in the first half against Vanderbilt on Saturday and was in critical condition after emergency surgery.
Abercrombie sustained a head injury in the second quarter and was rushed to Vanderbilt Medical Center. University officials issued a statement saying Abercrombie was being observed.
Tigers coach Rod Reed told The Tennessean that he was not certain exactly how or when Abercrombie was injured during the 31-27 loss.
“He came to the sideline and just kind of collapsed there,” Reed said, per the newspaper.
Abercrombie was given oxygen on the sideline before being taken away on a stretcher.
The Atlanta native redshirted at Illinois in 2016 and played 11 games last season before transferring to Tennessee State.
Abercrombie entered the contest as Tennessee State’s second-leading tackler (13) and also had 1.5 sacks on the season. He had five tackles and a quarterback hurry before sustaining the injury on Saturday.
Both Tennessee State and Vanderbilt came together for prayer after the game.
” At the end of the day, I’m a football coach coaching a team and coaching a game, but football’s what we do, not who we are,” Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said. “I know what it is to be a coach. I know what it is to have a player who’s injured. At the end of the day, when serious injuries happen, football becomes secondary.”