DaMarcus Thomas, a true freshman tight end from Ole Miss, was airlifted from the practice field Monday morning after suffering a serious injury. Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin announced the news at his scheduled press conference. Kiffin returned at the end of his press conference to tell reporters he had some movement and feeling in his body before being placed in the helicopter.
"We had a player potentially severely injured," Kiffin said as reported by 247Sports. "DaMarcus Thomas was hit and hasn't moved since. The helicopter is on its way now. Obviously, I'll answer questions. I've got to do my job about the game, whatever it is, but nothing seems very important right now. He never moved and he hasn't. There's no feeling in his entire body. We've informed the family. I don't know. I don't know if I've seen anything as hard or like that, personally." Ole Miss running Jerrion Ealy spoke to reporters and talked about how the injury happened.
"It was just a normal football play," Ealy said. "A freak accident. We're praying for DJ (DaMarcus Thomas). Hopefully, he has a speedy recovery. We're just all praying for him, and we really hope to have him back soon... We didn't really know what happened or what's happening right now. We're all just in shock, you know. I can't really say too much about it...just shock. Just one of those freak accidents that happens on the football field that you only hear about, you just never really see. It's kind of just eye-opening."
The Rebels have an open date this week and have a scheduled day off Tuesday. "We were a little over halfway through practice," Kiffin said when explaining Thomas' injury. "You started to move the ball up and keep going like you do and go back to check on him, but this is...I don't think there was any way to practice, you know, seeing what we saw. I don't think anybody's even thinking about it (practice)...I could care less (about practice)."
Thomas signed with Ole Miss out of the 2020 class from Whatley, Alabama. He is listed as a three-star recruit by 247Sports and helped his high school, Saraland High School, reach the 2018 Alabama Class 6A state championship. During his senior season, Thomas recorded 739 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.