Ole Miss true freshman tight end DaMarcus Thomas was airlifted from the practice field Monday morning after suffering a serious injury on a "freak play." Two days later, he is already out of the hospital. He was back at the Ole Miss training facility on Wednesday and posing in a photo with Katie Bason, director of player development.
The photo posted on Twitter showed Thomas sitting upright without assistance while smiling for the camera. This sight was a major change from Monday when the tight end lost all feeling in his entire body on the practice field. University officials did tell media members after the accident that Thomas was healing and that they expected him to make a full recovery. The photo on Twitter served as a significant milestone in the process.
"So happy to see this!" one fan commented on Twitter after Ole Miss posted the photo. Several others joined in and expressed excitement for the young tight end. Some referred to Thomas' progress as a "major blessing."
The incident occurred during a seemingly ordinary collision on the practice field. Thomas remained motionless on the turf and lost all feeling in his body. The staff called for medical personnel, and a helicopter headed to the practice field.
"We had a player potentially severely injured," Kiffin said during his Monday press conference, per 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."
Following the incident on the football field, Kiffin met with reporters again and talked about how it changed his mindset. He revealed that the injury made him think about his son, Knox. Kiffin started to question his son's future in the sport and whether he would push him to play football.
"That's the first time I'd seen something where I just called Knox's mom and said I couldn't care less whether he ever plays football ever after seeing that," Kiffin said, per CNN. "[...] If you saw what I saw, you wouldn't be worried about whether he's going to play or not."