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University of Houston Player Critical after Freak Injury

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Doctors say it was a freak injury that they don’t usually see in football.

University of Houston cornerback DJ Hayden collided with another player in practice Tuesday, and the force of the hit tore a vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart. The injury is considered to be 95 percent fatal.

Hayden was rushed to the hospital Tuesday after the collision and required surgery that evening. Doctors say Hayden is in critical but stable condition now. Houston’s team physician said in a statement the injury has never been seen or reported in association with football, and is more common in high-speed car accidents.

The Houston Cougars play Tulsa on Saturday and they’ll no doubt have DJ on their minds. He was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week earlier this season.

There’s no word yet what the long term prognosis will be for Hayden’s football-playing career, but obviously that’s not the important thing. When players and coaches say it’s a “miracle” that he’s still around, Cougar fans are cheering for an off-field victory for Hayden.

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