Pats-Packers suspended after Bolden carted off

The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers had their preseason game Saturday night ended early in the fourth quarter after rookie Patriots cornerback Isaiah Bolden absorbed a hit from a teammate that led to him being immobilized, placed on a stretcher and carted off the field.

The Patriots said Bolden “had feeling in all his extremities, but has been taken to a local hospital for further tests and observation.”

“We’re all saying a prayer for Isaiah,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “Appreciate the way the league handled it. I think that was the right thing to do.”

With 10:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, referee John Hussey announced to the crowd at Lambeau Field: “At the agreement of both head coaches and team leadership, we have elected to suspend play for the evening. The game is officially over.”

Belichick said the injury put things in perspective, adding: “We’re all very fortunate.”

The Patriots, who had practiced with the Packers on Wednesday and Thursday in advance of the game, were leading 21-17 at the time.

Bolden was covering a slant pass toward the inside part of the field and collided with teammate Calvin Munson. He remained down on the ground, and as medical personnel arrived, the entire Patriots team ultimately gathered on the field on one knee nearby.

Captain Matthew Slater, the team’s longest-tenured player, led players in a prayer. Slater was later seen speaking with Belichick and LaFleur on the field.

“Our primary concern is Isaiah, his well-being, and our whole team is praying for him,” Slater said. “Just hoping that things aren’t as serious as they seem.”

The 23-year-old Bolden was selected in the seventh round out of Jackson State, the only player drafted from an HBCU this year. In 2021, he led the nation (both FBS and FCS) in kickoff return average at 36.6 per attend and tied for the FCS lead with two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

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