Hurst: Post-traumatic amnesia won’t end career

Hurst: Post-traumatic amnesia won’t end career

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst does not believe the post-traumatic amnesia he was diagnosed with by an independent neurologist after suffering a concussion will be career-ending.

“I’m doing better each day,” Hurst wrote ESPN on Thursday in a text message. “It’s not going to end my career, just being cautious as I come back. Should be another week or two.”

The 30-year-old later expressed his thanks for the support he has received and again said the injury should not end his career.

“I appreciate everyone reaching out & checking on me. I suffered a pretty nasty concussion against the Bears a few weeks ago & don’t remember up to 4 hours after the game. Scary situation but the Panthers have been incredible walking me through this process,” he wrote on X.

He added in a follow-up post: “While it was scary, it is NOT career ending. I’m starting my return to play this week, so fingers crossed I make it back for the last few weeks! God Bless & Keep Pounding !!!!”

Hurst’s father, Jerry, posted the message about his son’s condition on Wednesday evening a few hours after Hayden appeared at practice for the first time since suffering the concussion in the Nov. 9 game at Chicago in a red jersey that limits him from contact.

“[Hayden] has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Amnesia by an independent neurologist as a result of the hit he took in Chicago November 9,” Jerry Hurst wrote on X. “Slow recovery, don’t know when he’ll be back. Prayers.”

Carolina interim coach Chris Tabor said on Wednesday that Hurst is “progressing” in the protocol but offered no further information. Hurst has been sidelined for the past three games.

Hurst, a first-round pick by the Jaguars in 2018, would be looking at the Dec. 17 home game against the Falcons or the Dec. 24 home game against the Packers if he returns in one to two weeks as he hopes.

“It was a weird feeling for the first couple of weeks,” Hurst said. “I’m doing way better now.”

Hurst entered the protocol during the Thursday night game after taking a hit that caused his head to hit the ground. He re-entered the game and wasn’t placed into the protocol until the next day.

He later was told by the independent neurologist that he was suffering from post-traumatic amnesia.

“That’s what I was told by the neurologist but sounds way worse,” Hayden said.

Post-traumatic amnesia, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is amnesia that develops after an injury. It can involve multiple forms of amnesia. It can invoke confusion and frustration in those impacted because they have difficulty remembering where they are, how they got there or any new information since the injury.

Hurst signed a three-year contract with the Panthers during the offseason after one season with the Bengals, during which he caught 52 passes for 414 yards in 2022.

He has 18 receptions for 184 yards and one touchdown in nine games this season for the Panthers.

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