Razorback defensive end Dorian Gerald suffered an injury during the Portland State Game on Aug. 31 that has left him to redshirt the remainder of the season. Gerald, a senior, will redshirt this season with hopes of returning to the field next season. 

After the injury, Gerald was sent to the hospital where he was placed on blood thinners. Coach Chad Morris commented on the injury in a press conference the following Monday.

"We were very fortunate," Morris said. "Those things are always tough to deal with, but the way our medical team handled it was first-class and right on point. The good news is he's going to be OK. He's on the road to recovery."

Neck injuries are among the most common injuries in football, according to an article posted by VeryWellFit.com. While neck strains are common in football, Gerald’s injury is rare because it involves a strained artery.

The medical term for a strained artery is a “carotid dissection,” an artery’s inner wall is torn, allowing blood to get in between the layers of the wall and separate them. This causes the artery to bulge and possibly slow or stop blood flow through the artery.

While artery injuries are very rare in football, they have happened. In 2017, Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller had emergency surgery to repair a torn popliteal artery in his left leg, barely dodging an amputation of his leg.

Gerald’s injury is almost unheard of in football, where most artery injuries deal with arteries in the leg, not the neck. The status of his injury still remains unknown. 

"I think it will not be something we'll know for quite some time," Morris said. "I think that we're several months away from knowing that as tests will continue to be run."

Gerald tweeted, saying it was not a career ending injury, but the coaches and his family want to watch it closely. The week after the injury, Gerald was at practice using a walker to move around. He will remain with the team throughout the season.

Gerald transferred to Arkansas from the College of the Canyons after the 2017 season. He was rated a four-star prospect and the No.1 junior college defensive end in the country. Gerald played in eight games last season, where he racked up 21 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. 

Senior defensive end Jamario Bell has been filling in nicely for Gerald so far. Bell had 20 total tackles and one forced fumble in 11 games last year. He has recorded 1.5 sacks and four total tackles along with two tackles for loss in the Hogs’ first four games of the season.

Gerald will look to return to the Razorbacks for the 2020 season to improve his draft stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.

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