MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Vikings were holding their breath as they watched offensive lineman Seth Olsen get taken off the field on a stretcher after taking a knee to the helmet in a frightening collision.
A few hours later, everyone was breathing a big sigh of relief when they saw Olsen walking around the locker room and smiling with his teammates.
Olsen was diagnosed with a concussion, but avoided what was initially feared as a far more serious injury after taking a knee to the head from Titans linebacker Scott Solomon in the second quarter of Thursday night's 24-23 preseason victory.
"When those moments come and they bring that stretcher out, you have no idea what is going on," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We were just hoping for the best and fortunately things worked out that way."
Olsen was out leading the way on a screen pass when he started to fall toward the ground. His helmet hit Solomon's knee as the linebacker was diving and trying to make a play, and Olsen immediately went down. Head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman raced to his side and immediately called for a stretcher as a hush fell over the crowd.
Concerned teammates lined up about 15 yards away, and players on both sides kneeled in prayer. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and gave a thumbs-up with his left hand as he was wheeled off the field. The four-year veteran started four games for the Vikings last year and was vying for one of the backup roles going into the preseason finale.
"He's one of my great friends," receiver Joe Webb said. "That was very scary and I'm glad to see him up walking around in the locker room."