Player honored 28 years after horrific collapse

Player honored 28 years after horrific collapse

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Twenty-eight years have passed since Colorado tight end Ed Reinhardt Jr. collapsed from a seemingly routine hit that would change his life forever.

Reinhardt was the nation's leading receiver on Sept. 15, 1984, when the Buffaloes visited the Ducks. With about two minutes left and Colorado trailing 27-20, he was tackled.

``I didn't know the issues until we came off of the field, because we were in the process of driving down and trying to win the game,'' said Colorado coach Jon Embree, then a fellow tight end with the Buffaloes. ``When we turned it over on downs, I went over and that is when he collapsed and that is when I knew something was bad.''

After losing consciousness on the sidelines, Reinhart was taken to a hospital where doctors discovered he had a blot clot in his brain. Reinhardt underwent emergency surgery and spent some three months in a coma.

The neurosurgeon who rushed to Reinhardt's aid on the sidelines and eventually performed the surgery was an Oregon season ticket holder.

Reinhardt's family was never given much hope for his recovery. But the 19-year-old tight end overcame the odds.

Now 47, Reinhardt's right side remains paralyzed. He walks with a limp and speaks mostly short sentences - but that's something no one ever expected him to be able to do. He travels the country with his father, Ed Reinhardt Sr., passing along his inspirational story.

This summer Reinhardt was asked by the Denver Post if he thought he was a miracle. When he said he didn't know, his dad stepped in: ``We think so. We believe it.''

He is still a big fan of the Buffaloes, and especially of Embree, his former roommate on road trips.

The feeling is mutual, Embree said.

``Ed's a huge reason .a huge part of why I am, what I am today. He was the guy that always drove me. He was the guy I always competed against. I knew that if I wanted to be all-league or all-state or whatever, that was the guy I was going to have to beat out. So every time, no matter what I did, running in the summer, lifting or whatever, he was the guy I was thinking about.''

Reinhardt has been back to Eugene on a few occasions since that fateful game. His younger brother, Matt, played for the Ducks as a tight end in the early 1990s and was with the team that went to the Rose Bowl in 1995.

With friend Embree as Colorado's coach and now that the team has joined the Pac-12, Reinhardt and his father decided Saturday's game would be a good time for a return trip. Colorado (1-6, 1-3 Pac-12) faces a tough challenge in No. 2 Oregon (7-0, 4-0).

The Ducks will honor Reinhardt with a pregame ceremony.

``That program has always held a unique place in my heart, just because of what they did for him and his family, and it will be good for him to be back there and be around those people,'' Embree said. ``I think they have tremendous fans and that is why I think it is a hard place to play. They are classy, they are respectful, it is just a unique environment, but they have always been like that.''

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The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list

The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list

Every offseason the NFL Network polls a number of current players to determine the Top 100 stars in the league.

It's a fun discussion topic during an otherwise slow time in the football calendar, and while the rankings carry no official meaning, it would be silly to dismiss the process altogether. After all, these are players voting for their fellow players. 

Over the last few seasons, the Redskins have seen a various number of their players make the list. Trent Williams is a mainstay, Jordan Reed made an appearance, and while he was playing in Washington, QB Kirk Cousins made the list. 

For example, in 2017, Cousins ranked 70th on the NFL Top 100. That same season, while quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith came in at 81 on the list. 

Now Redskins QB, there is a bit of a mystery surrounding Smith.

The NFL has revealed numbers 100 to 11, and Smith hasn't made the list. Cousins, now a Viking, landed 94th, the first QB on the list.

Another 10 QBs have been named to the Top 100: Jimmy Garoppolo (90), Derek Carr (60), Philip Rivers (56), Case Keenum (51), Deshaun Watson (50), Jared Goff (38), Matt Stafford (31), Matt Ryan (29), Ben Roethlisberger (18) and Russell Wilson (11).

Smith had the best statistical season of his career in 2017, and he led the NFL in passer rating. He certainly belongs higher on the Top 100 than a number of the quarterbacks listed above, particularly young players without his track record of success like Keenum, Watson or Goff. 

But does Smith deserve a Top 10 ranking in the NFL?

For Smith to make the list, it will mean a Top 10 ranking. Consider too that Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz have not yet landed on the Top 100. All four of those players seem like locks for the Top 10, which will be revealed next Monday night on NFL Network. 

It might seem surprising for Smith to land in the Top 10 of the NFL Top 100, but it would make zero sense for him to be left off the list altogether. 


— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap


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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th.