Ravens RB McGahee carted off the field after nasty collision

PITTSBURGH -- Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee was carted off the field during Sunday's AFC Championship Game after taking a hard hit to the helmet by Steelers safety Ryan Clark.

The Ravens said McGahee had "significant neck pain" but movement in his arms and legs.

With his team trailing 23-14 and under four minutes remaining in the game, McGahee caught a pass and took two steps before Clark stopped him with a helmet-to-helmet hit. McGahee's neck snapped back, and he immediately dropped to the ground.

McGahee lay motionless for several minutes before being lifted onto a stretcher and taken away on a cart. McGahee clasped hands with teammate Ed Reed before being taken off the field.

"It was a heck of a hit, for one thing," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "Your first thought is obviously concern for Willis. Once we got out there, and hearing the doctors talk and see him move around, you felt like it was going to be OK. Both sides obviously had concerns, but we were happy it was not immediately serious at that point."

Dozens of players gathered around McGahee and Clark, both of whom were floored on the play.

"We hope that Willis is OK," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after his team clinched a berth in Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals. "We're keeping him in our prayers. I know how scary that is. I started getting a little emotional when I saw him down there and the cart was coming out. That's the nature of this rivalry."

McGahee scored both of Baltimore's touchdowns in the game and finished with 60 rushing yards, the most by anyone on either team.

The hit also left Clark groggy. He had a dazed look as he wobbled off the field, his arms draped around two Steelers staffers. His status wasn't immediately known.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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