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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sign A Paraplegic

| Filed under: InjuryFootball


In a beautiful, symbolic gesture, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Eric LeGrand, a defensive tackle who played for Rutgers until a spinal cord injury during a game ended his career.

During the game, LeGrand received fractures in two vertebrae and damage to his spinal cord.

When Tampa Bay's coach, Greg Schiano told LeGrand of his plans he was obviously shocked.

He said:

"I said, 'Are you serious? You want to do this?' He said: 'It's the least we could do.' I said, 'I don't even know what to say to you right now, Coach. This is amazing.'

It's something I always dreamed about, go to the NFL and retire and become a sportscaster. Dreams do come true if you really believe. You do the right things in life, good things happen to you. He really just did this out of the kindness of his heart. It's really what he wanted to do. I had no idea this was going to happen."

The most amazing part?

LeGrand was originally told he was going to be a quadriplegic and have to be on a ventilator.

A little over a month later, he was breathing on his own. Then a little later, he was able to stand upright with the aid of a metal frame.

His eventual goal is to walk again which actually seems like it may be possible.

So even thought he's "on the team" he won't be getting money or anything.

"It's a symbolic gesture. They can't give me any money with the salary cap and all that kind of stuff. It's symbolic, something Coach wanted to do and I appreciate that. It just shows the man that he is."

Now he plans on graduating with a degree in labor studies. And that doesn't mean he still can't follow his dream of becoming a sportscaster.

[Image via AP Images.]

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