It appears disaster has been averted for Gareon Conley.
Oakland Raiders took on the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, when the former first-round pick tried to pull down running back Royce Freeman with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter to cap off a 27-yard run. Conley, who was laying on the ground at the time with a handful of Freeman's jersey, suffered a blow to the head from the thigh of safety Jonathan Abram -- who flew in to help bring down Freeman -- in a way that compressed Conley's neck into his body.when his
Conley was carted off the field on a gurney and gave a thumbs up on his way out, but the more poignant thumbs up came from head coach Jon Gruden late Monday evening/Tuesday morning.
"I got good word on him that he's going to be OK," Gruden said in his post-game media address, via ESPN. "Don't know his status for the next game, but most importantly he's alright. That was a scary hit that he took, but all the reports I have are very, very positive."
On Tuesday afternoon, Conley posted this message on Twitter, letting everyone know that he is OK and to thank all of the fans for their prayers.
Thank you to everybody who had me in their thoughts and prayers.. I hurt my neck nothing severe and it was just protocol to get me on a stretcher and get imaging to make sure everything was ok make sure it didn’t go down my spine or anything.. I’m good to go God Bless you all 🙏🏾— Gareon Conley (@_gconley8) September 10, 2019
While the Raiders look to make a determination at some point this week regarding Conley's availability for their Week 2 meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs, the important thing is exactly what Gruden points out, in that the cornerback was able to avoid a career-and life-threatening injury in Week 1. Unfortunately for Conley, however, the dark cloud of injury may have shown itself again in his young promising career. He was active for just two games in his rookie 2017 campaign after suffering and then re-aggravating a shin injury that landed him on injured reserve, and while he did have 14 starts in 15 games the following year -- displaying his prowess in the process -- he suffered a concussion that kept him from playing in the complete 16-game campaign.
There is no doubt Conley has what it takes to be a shutdown corner in the NFL, as evidenced in his three interceptions and 15 pass deflections in 2018, but another goal of his is to remain healthy and available to achieve that mission.
For now, at least he knows he'll still get the chance.