During a game against the Cowboys last season, Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette took a horrifying hit on a punt return and eventually had to be carted off the field and taken to the hospital with a neck injury. He had to stay in a Dallas hospital for almost a week to have surgery on his neck to repair the damage that was done. And while he’s doing much better now, it sounds like the entire situation could have been much worse for him.

On Monday, Lockette—who is still wearing a neck brace—visited with firefighters and paramedics in Redmond, Wash. to thank them for doing what they do. He also talked about how he came incredibly close to dying on the football field as a result of his neck injury. If the paramedics who worked on him on the field hadn’t made all the right decisions, his doctor told him he might not be around today.

“I didn’t really realize how serious it was until it was over,” he said. “The doctor told me…all the muscles, all the ligaments that connect my vertebrae, and the cartilage between that…the cartilage is out, ligaments are torn. He said if I would have stood up then, the weight of my head—left, right, front, back—I would have died. If one of my teammates would have came over and pulled my arm, just barely, I might have died. Or if the returner had broken a couple tackles and fell on me, I would have died on that field. But what saved my life were the trainers, and the work that you guys do. The trainers came over, and they said they did it perfectly. Perfectly, by the book.”

That is…insane. Fortunately, the trainers and paramedics who worked on Lockette knew what they were doing. But it’s crazy to think that he was literally inches from death on the football field. You can watch him talk to the firefighters and paramedics of Redmond here:

Ricardo Lockett visited Redmond Fire Station 11 today and expressed the importance of teamwork and the great work his...

Posted by Redmond Professional Firefighters and Paramedics on Friday, March 4, 2016

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[via Fox Sports]