The only tangential evidence of Warrick Holdman’s one-night hospital stay for a spinal-cord concussion was the fact that he wasn’t in a practice uniform on Saturday morning.
He hadn’t felt numbness or tingling in his extremities since Thursday evening. He came through the X-rays and the MRI examination cleanly, with nothing more revealed than a spinal-cord concussion.
“I feel fine,” he said. “Monday, I want to be practicing.”
Although Holdman was away from Dove Valley on Thursday night, he wasn’t away from the Broncos, as his fellow linebackers, position coach Joe Baker visited him in his hospital room. Another visitor was running back Mike Bell, with whom Holdman collided Thursday morning on the fateful play.
“I told him I wasn’t going to sue him,” Holdman said, smiling.
“I’ve only been here just a couple of months in the offseason, but for guys to come and visit me while I was in there shows it’s a good team with character.”
But it was also testament to how serious Holdman’s injury first appeared when he lay face-down on the grass Thursday morning. Holdman was conscious the entire time, which in a way makes the entire situation all the more harrowing — and difficult for a layman like myself to comprehend.
I’ve occasionally awoken in the morning feeling numb in the fingers or the hands, but in a few minutes, I shook it off. There was a morning this past spring, though, where I awoke and had no feeling in both of my arms. I was lucky — it wasn’t circulatory in nature, there was no surgery required and it hasn’t happened again. But for a few moments, it was nothing but panic as my arms might as well have been freshly-prepared sausage links dangling from my shoulders.
That was bad enough. But I can only imagine what Holdman experienced when he could move neither his arms nor his legs.
“It was scary; I’m not going to downplay it,” he said.
“It had never happened to me before, so I was on the ground trying to get up, but I couldn’t, and I was like, ‘Oh, man, what was going on?’ When the feeling came back, the first thing I wanted to was hop up, but they say, ‘You’ve got to be safe,’ and make sure nothing is wrong or broken.
“I was like, ‘I can get up now.’ (The trainers) said, ‘No.’”
Holdman now awaits medical clearance to return. He hopes it comes soon — soon enough to return by Monday to the field, where he has been rotating with Nate Webster and D.D. Lewis in first-team strongside duty.
“I’ve got to,” Holdman said. “I’m in a battle for a starting position. I don’t have any time to be (sitting) out.
“You know the old saying: ‘You can’t make the club if you’re in the tub.’ So whenever you go down, that’s when another guy’s stepping up. That’s the name of this business. That’s your goal — when you’re not out there, someone else is. I’ve worked my whole career. I’ve never been a guy who could miss a whole week of camp and relax.”