From scary to blessed to humored. That's where New Orleans Saints cornerback Tracy Porter told The Times-Picayune he has gone since leaving the field on a stretcher after last Sunday's head-first collision with Tampa Bay receiver Mike Williams in a 27-16 victory over the Buccaneers.
Though it seemed improbable at the time, Porter is even listed as probable on the injury report to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons after practicing on a limited basis Thursday and Friday.
"I mean, of course when they say they're gonna grab a stretcher to take you off the field, you're always scared and you're planning for the worst," Porter told the newspaper. "But everything panned out and I was able to move my limbs, able to walk. So I'm thankful and I'm blessed that it wasn't more serious than it was."
Porter, who remained on the field for more than 10 minutes before being taken off, said "it took a while," though before he knew he was OK.
"Once I started to move my limbs, that was a sense of relief right there," said Porter, who did not stay overnight in the hospital. "But the next couple days, it was rough, still dealing with some pain (in the neck and chest). But I'm making it through it, and we'll see where it goes from here."
The comeback attempt has become a source of teasing from coaches and teammates, with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams nicknaming him "Lazurus." He also has been razzed in the meeting room for grandstanding.
"We were teasing him about the bow he felt like he needed to take when he finally made contact with somebody," said Williams, who added that he was quite worried when it happened.
Porter has taken it all in stride.
"It wouldn't be Gregg if he couldn't get his two cents in," Porter told the newspaper. "But I know it's all fun and games. He's very happy that it wasn't worse than what it was. But of course we're gonna make jokes about it once you find out you're OK."