Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (85) raises his fist as he is taken off the field with an injury by Alameda County paramedic James Beatty (left) and Raiders orthopedic surgeon Dr. Warren Strudwick at the O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Steelers 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
ALAMEDA, CA - Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was released from Eden Medical Center Monday with a concussion and a neck strain after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit in the end zone from Pittsburgh defensive back Ryan Mundy.
After Heyward-Bey was hit, he then fell to the ground, essentially taking a second blow to the head. He was on the ground for several minutes before being strapped to a stretcher, driven off on a cart and then being sent to the hospital.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen declined to address the legality of the hit, and even seemed to sympathize with defender Ryan Mundy, realizing it could have easily happened to one of his own defenders.
"It's the game of football. I don't think people are trying to go out there and hurt people," Allen said. "The safety was playing the game fast and physical. It's a tough game to play when you're making split-second decisions on how you play the game. It's the unfortunate things that happen in this game but we move on from it."
There was no word on how long Heyward-Bey would be out, but it would seem clear from the severity of the blow he would miss this week's game in Denver against the Broncos.
The Raiders have a Week 5 bye before resuming the regular season in Week 6 against Atlanta.
"The concussion is obviously the bigger issue than anything else right now," Allen said. "He's a guy that we're going to have to continue to evaluate and see where he's at. We were all pleased to see that it wasn't anything severe as far as neck injury or anything like that."
Already out for the season and on injured reserve is Jacoby Ford, meaning the Raiders are without two starting wide receivers counted upon to be playmakers this season. Allen wouldn't rule out the possibility of bringing in another wide receiver, and said he and general manager Reggie McKenzie would be discussing their options.
After Heyward-Bey left the game, the Raiders used Denarius Moore, rookie Rod Streater and Derek Hagan. Rookie Juron Criner is on the roster but has been inactive the past two games.
Heyward-Bey caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer for the Raiders' first score. After catching 64 passes for 975 yards and four touchdowns last season, Heyward-Bey was off to a slow start statistically, with nine catches for 98 yards. He had an 11-yard reception to go with his touchdown against Pittsburgh.
"It's tough. I knew it was going to be a collision play, a tough play that we worked on a lot," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "Our hearts and prayers are out to him. I know it's tough with his mom back home in (Washington) D.C. watching that. But the word out of the hospital is he's doing well. He's moving."