Dane Jackson returns to Bills practice 9 days after leaving field in an ambulance vs. Titans

Nine days ago, Dane Jackson left a football field in an ambulance after a helmet-to-helmet collision forced his head and neck to snap violently backward.

On Wednesday, he returned to practice with the Buffalo Bills. The third-year cornerback took the practice field wearing a red non-contact jersey as the Bills prepared for their Week 4 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

He was officially listed as "limited" on the Bills practice report. His status for Sunday's game is unclear. For now, though, Jackson feels fortunate to be healthy enough to function, much less practice.

"I was just really worried about my future at that point and not really worried about anything football-related," Jackson said on Wednesday, per the Bills. "I was worried about my son at home, my mom. I know everybody was crying. My girl was right next to me, so it was an emotional roller coaster."

The injury took place during Buffalo's 41-7 Week 2 win over the Tennessee Titans. Jackson was in coverage of Titans receiver Treylon Burks and tackled him low after a completed pass. Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds also dove at Burks, apparently anticipating to hit him as Jackson engaged in the tackle. But Burks and Jackson were already on the ground when Edmunds dove, and Edmunds instead made head-first contact with Jackson with the crown of his helmet, sending Jackson's head and neck snapping backward.

Warning: The footage below shows a violent head collision

An ambulance on site at Buffalo's Highmark Stadium immediately drove onto the field, and Jackson was transported to a local hospital to be evaluated for a neck injury. He remained hospitalized overnight and was released the following day after testing revealed no major injury to his neck or spinal cord, according to the Bills.

Buffalo Bills cornerback Dane Jackson (30) is back at practice this week after he was involved in scary helmet-to-helmet collision in Buffalo's Week 2 game. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Buffalo Bills cornerback Dane Jackson (30) is back at practice this week after he was involved in scary helmet-to-helmet collision in Buffalo's Week 2 game. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

Now he's back at practice. He confirmed that he sustained no structural damage and that he's primarily dealing with residual soreness.

"I'm here, I'm alive, I'm standing," Jackson said. "Everybody's seen the hit. They know that it could've been a lot worse. So for me to be here, nothing structural, walking, back in the locker room with my teammates, it's just a blessing. I can't do nothing else but smile."

Jackson, 25, has worked his way into the starting lineup since the Bills selected him in the seventh round of the 2020 draft. He was a part-time starter last season before earning a starting job for 2022. The Bills didn't provide a timeline for his return to live action on Wednesday.