NC State defensive back Rakeim Ashford was stretchered off the field during Thursday's season-opening game against UConn after a blindside hit during an NC State kick return with 1:54 left in the third quarter. He remained immobile on the field while medical personnel attended to him and later underwent testing at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut. Ashford's results came back normal, NC State announced Friday morning, and he is expected to be discharged.
The injury stoppage lasted over 10 minutes as players from both NC State and UConn took a knee around Ashford while he was down. He was able to give a thumbs up while he was taken into NC State's tunnel, and reports from the field indicated that Ashford showed signs of movement.
UConn was penalized for the hit on Ashford, which gave NC State the ball on the Huskies' 27-yard line. The Wolfpack were able to capitalize on the field position as quarterback Brennan Armstrong rushed for a touchdown that put his team up 24-14 with less than a minute to play in the third quarter.
Ashford, a graduate student, is in his fourth season with NC State. He joined the Wolfpack in 2020 after one season at Jones College in Mississippi. He has factored heavily on special teams during his NC State career while providing depth at the strong safety position.