UPDATED 8:30 P.M. – SUNDAY: Tennessee State Communications Dept. put out the following statement about player Christion Abercrombie – Tennessee State University football student-athlete Christion Abercrombie has been upgraded to stable condition. Abercrombie had been in critical condition since sustaining an injury on Sept. 29. Christion has been off a ventilator for over 24 hours and is breathing on his own.
UPDATED 8 PM ET – SEPT. 30: Tennessee State put out the following statement about player Christion Abercrombie – "Tennessee State University football student-athlete Christion Abercrombie remains in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center following an injury sustained during TSU’s Sept. 29 game versus Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium. Christion is surrounded by his family, teammates, the TSU family and members of the Vanderbilt community."
STACI ABERCROMBIE – MOTHER OF CHRISTION ABERCROMBIE
“Christion is resting. He’s fighting. We’re trusting God and please continue to pray.”
TSU HEAD FOOTBALL COACH ROD REED
“My thoughts and prayers are with Christion and his family. He’s fighting, and we just need to keep him uplifted with prayers.”
UPDATED 7 PM ET – SEPT. 30: A source close to the situation has told HERO Sports that Tennessee State player Christion Abercrombie's swelling of the brain has gone down since being taken to surgery yesterday, but he is still not verbally responsive.
1 P.M. ET SUNDAY: Reports are slightly better today for Christion Abercrombie (media source Tweet below), a middle linebacker at Tennessee State in the Ohio Valley Conference, was taken to the hospital Saturday after a head injury incurred while playing against the SEC's Vanderbilt. Teammate Mekhi Brown tweeted that after surgery, Abercrombie was responsive (see below)
At 9:53 p.m. ET Saturday, Tennessee State's athletic department released the following statement to the media:
"Tennessee State University football student-athlete Christion Abercrombie remains in critical condition following an injury he suffered during today's Tennessee State-Vanderbilt game at Vanderbilt Stadium. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and remains under observance."
Abercrombie collapsed on the sideline following a play, but TSU head coach Rod Reed told media after the game that the staff did not know exactly when the play happened that caused the collapse. He was given oxygen on the sideline and taken off the field in a stretcher. When at the hospital, he was rushed into emergency surgery and is now out, according to The Tennessean, the local newspaper in Nashville, Tenn.
Both teams kneeled at midfield after the final whistle of Vanderbilt's 31-27 win, praying for Ambercrombie. An Atlanta, Ga. native, the young linebacker signed originally with the University of Illinois in 2016, a 3-star athlete. He redshirted in 2016 and played in 11 games for the Fighting Illini in 2017, registering 11 tackles before deciding to transfer to the FCS and Tennessee State. The 20-year old is the son of Derrick and Staci Abercrombie, and attended Westlake High School.
"Football's what we do, not who we are," Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason told the media afterwards. "I know what it is to be a coach. I know what it is to have a player who's injured. At the end of the day, when serious injuries happen, football becomes secondary."
Update: He’s responsive
— Mekhi Brown (@MekhiBrownn) September 30, 2018
I've been informed @tsu_football LB Christion Abercrombie has shown some "slightly positive" signs but is still considered "very critical." pic.twitter.com/F5Tdd8kP05
— Jon Burton (@JonBurton32) September 30, 2018