MINNEAPOLIS -- Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was struck in the back of the neck after catching a four-yard pass in the fourth quarter and had to be immobilized and transported from the field on a stretcher.
After the game, Raiders officials told Comcast SportsNet's Kate Longworth that Heyward-Bey wastaken to a local hospital for precautionarymeasures and X-rays. He was later released from Hennepin County Medical Center.
Coach Hue Jackson reported that Heyward-Bey never lost consciousness and said he would join the team on its charter flight home Sunday night.
He was always alert," Jackson said, describing the injury as to the neckspine. "I saw him out there and talked to him. I really truly believe that he is going to be OK, but obviously, we have to take all the precautions to make sure that he is going to be OK.
Nevertheless, it remained a sobering moment in Oakland's 27-21 win.
Heyward-Bey was running a crossing pattern and leaped to make a reception at the Vikings' 31-yard line, with 11 minutes remaining.
Cornerback Cedric Griffin tackled him from behind, spinning around the veteran out of Maryland. As he fell backwards, Heyward-Bey took an E.J. Henderson knee to the back of his head and neck, popping his helmet off with the force of the blow.
Heyward-Bey rolled over with the ball still in his hand, then flopped backward to the turf. Raiders guard Cooper Carlisle was the closest player to him and held out his right hand to help Heward-Bey to his feet but No. 85 remained on his back.
His legs were moving in the immediate aftermath, and he gave a thumbs up as he was transported from the field off on a stretcher with his head and neck strapped down.
Its tough, hopefully I can get his number and try to reach out to him," Henderson said. "But I have been there. I have been in the ambulance before so its definitely hard. I hope he is OK and I am going to try and get in contact with him after the game.
Anytime you see the stretcher out there, you try not to think about it," he added. "Of course it crossed my mind. Its football and things happen, but Im glad he gave us the thumbs up and I hope the Raiders staff can get him everything he needs.
Heyward-Bey had four catches for 43 yards before suffering the injury.