SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Dallas Cowboys receivers coach Jimmy Robinson was not seriously injured Saturday after being accidentally run over by a player and knocked unconscious for about a minute during one of the first contact drills of training camp.
Robinson “was snoring, he was so knocked out,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, which is why the scene was so frightening at first.
Once he came to, Robinson was able to move his arms and legs. Still, he was strapped to a backboard and taken to a hospital for evaluation. Doctors cleared him about two hours later, roughly around the time that practice session was finished, Jones said.
“We’re just really fortunate,” Jones said.
The Cowboys were practicing in pads for the first time, doing punt returns, and Robinson was watching from the outside of the sideline, standing near midfield. His attention was on the action toward the middle of the field.
Teddy Williams, a sprinter-turned-receiver, was racing down field to make the tackle. He’d been forced out of bounds by a defender, then had just gotten around the guy when he slammed into Robinson. He hardly had time to see Robinson, much less avoid the collision.
“Everything happened so quick,” Williams told a trainer. “I tried to stop.”
Practice continued before everyone realized what was happening. Dez Bryant returned the next punt, saw the commotion on the sideline, then appeared distraught when he realized it was his position coach. Bryant removed his helmet and dropped to a knee, watching.
Jones, team vice president Stephen Jones and coach Jason Garrett soon gathered, too. Several of Jerry Jones’ grandchildren who’d been nearby were hurried away. The biggest crowd yet in the Alamodome went from clapping and cheering for the littlest reason to complete silence.
Fans applauded as the cart took Robinson away. Garrett was seen on a cell phone, presumably calling Robinson’s family; Dalrymple said they had been contacted, although he wasn’t sure if that was who Garrett called.
After Robinson left, Williams went into the locker room with trainers.
The 58-year-old Robinson is in his first season with the Cowboys, fresh off holding the same job with the Super Bowl champion Packers. He also carries the title of assistant head coach.
Robinson was lured to Dallas by Garrett, a close friend since the early 2000s, when Garrett was a backup quarterback on the New York Giants and Robinson was the club’s receivers coach.
Robinson has been an NFL coach since 1990, working for the Falcons, Colts, Giants, Saints and Packers. His star pupils have included Marvin Harrison, Amani Toomer, Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth, Andre Rison, Mike Haynes and the Packers’ crew that included Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and the receiving star of the Super Bowl, Jordy Nelson.
Robinson knows what it takes in the NFL because he found a way to make it. Despite being only 5-foot-9, he was a star receiver for Georgia Tech who lasted five seasons in the NFL in the 1970s, mostly with the Giants.
Jones said the team would make sure there’s more room around the sideline to make sure nothing like this happens again.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)