The Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions huddled around Chandler Zavala, kneeling in silence as the rookie offensive lineman was down on the field for more than five minutes and taken off on a stretcher following a scary collision in Sunday's 42-24 loss.
Zavala collided with Isaiah Buggs and laid on the ground for several minutes. A brace was put on his neck as he was strapped down to prevent any movement, per the Detroit News. As Zavala was taken off on a stretcher, he raised his arm with a thumbs up with thunderous applause from the crowd at Ford Field.
After the collision with Buggs, the Lions pass rusher immediately signaled to the trainers for medical help. Zavala was taken to the hospital to be evaluated for a neck injury, per a Panthers spokesperson.
A couple hours after the game ended, the Panthers announced that Zavala went to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and all the tests had come back well. They also revealed Zavala joined the team at the airport afterward and would return to Charlotte with his teammates, which they described as a relief.
"Because that's scary. Everybody's wives and girlfriends and mothers and everyone else is watching that knowing that that could be somebody else, one of either their person or one of their close friends," center Bradley Bozeman said. "There's a lot of compassion for each other. We put a lot of work in; we're brothers in this thing. "It's hard when one of your brothers goes down."