Weber State wide receiver Xavian Johnson could return to the Wildcats sooner than expected. Team trainer Joel Bass said Wednesday that Johnson’s doctors in Ogden have determined his neurological assessment is completely normal and he likely suffered a shock, rather than a contusion, to the spinal cord when he was tackled in Weber State’s loss to Montana last Saturday. Johnson spent two days in the hospital in Missoula after losing feeling in his legs after the hit. For more on when Johnson could play, see this story in Thursday’s Standard-Examiner (scroll to the WSU notes at bottom of story).
In Wednesday’s conference call with Big Sky media, Weber State coach Ron McBride discussed the hit that sent Johnson to the hospital. Here is McBride’s response in full:
“He’s lucky that he didn’t get paralyzed,” McBride said. “The whole deal was, it’s kind of like a trainwreck because the (defensive back), it looked like he interfered with him and kind of held him up before the ball was thrown. It’s kind of like somebody holding you and then punching you right in the face. It was a hell of a collision. I don’t hold the linebacker responsible, I think the linebacker is just doing his job. It was more, if you want to hold somebody responsible, it was more of the corner for grabbing the kid and putting him in a bad situation. Obviously, no penalties were called on the play so it must have looked like a clean play from the officials standpoint. It was touch and go with him for awhile, kind of. When I got over to the hospital (after the game), he had just got out of an MRI and everything was negative. The next morning, he had some complications but then they gave him some kind of drip and it kind of brought back his feeling in his legs and then he was able to get up and start walking around. Our neuro guy up here checked him out (Tuesday) and it seems to be that he’s going to come back and be OK, but I don’t know, I have no grudge against the hit the linebacker made, on the kid. I thought the linebacker was doing what he’s supposed to do.”
Here’s a video produced by Weber State radio play-by-play announcer Carl Arky earlier this season about Xavian Johnson.