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Jacksonville Jaguars Player Loses Leg, Paralyzed Below Waist After Shooting

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier, shot earlier this month, is paralyzed below the waist and had his left leg amputated.

Dr. Andy Kerwin, a surgeon for the University of Florida at Shands Jacksonville hospital, said Collier, who had 14 bullet wounds, is now in good condition after being previously listed in critical condition.

Kerwin said Collier had bullet wounds to the back, left groin, left legs and right buttock. In addition, a bullet severed his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down. The amputation was the result of damage to his left leg and groin, which had blood clots.

The 26-year-old Collier had five bullets removed from his urinary bladder and suffered bouts of pneumonia, infections and renal failure.

The player will undergo physical therapy to learn to get from his bed to a wheelchair. He will never walk again, the doctor said.

Collier was on a ventilator for about three weeks and has no memory of the shooting, Kerwin said.

"His overall condition has improved greatly," Kerwin said. "We expect him to be discharged soon."

Collier's agent Jeff Jankovich said the player's family wanted to make sure Collier understood what had happened to him before releasing it to the public. He said they even kept the Jaguars in the dark.

"He has extreme grief for a lifetime of dreams he won't be able to fulfill," the agent said.

Jankovich refused to say when Collier would be released, citing security concerns.

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio and several players attended the news conference.

"It's a tragedy this young man was caught up in this violence," Del Rio said. "It's a great tragedy for a young man who had such a promising future."

Offensive tackle Tony Pashos said, "It has been difficult. I think about him a lot."

Collier and former teammate Kenneth Pettway were waiting for two women outside an apartment complex early Sept. 2 when a gunman fired into the vehicle, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Pettway was not injured.

The motive behind the attack on Collier is unknown, but investigators said earlier he appeared to be targeted. Police have made no arrests in the shooting.

Collier was in his third year with the NFL after graduating from Valdosta State.

Collier was the third NFL player shot in the past 18 months. Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor was fatally shot during what police said was a botched burglary attempt at his Miami-area home in November. Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed when his rented limousine was sprayed with bullets minutes after leaving a New Year's party at a club in 2007.