USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero, Lindsay H. Jones and Lorenzo Reyes break down everything you need to know leading up to the game between New England and Denver.
USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming was forced into action last week in more ways than one.
Because of injuries to fellow linebackers Jamie Collins and Jerod Mayo in Saturday’s 27-20 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs, Fleming filled in and collected two tackles. But that was nothing compared to what he said he did two days earlier.
Fleming said he rescued a woman from a burning car by kicking in one of the windows, leaving him with 22 stitches on his leg. Yet he went on to play against the Chiefs.
Fleming said he was driving home from the team’s facility on Route 1 and was just a couple of minutes into his trip when he saw a semi-truck make an unexpected right turn, prompting three cars behind the truck to crash, he said.
“I was about to go around it, but I noticed the lady in the front car, she was kind of jumping around the car in the passenger seat and I noticed the car start to smoke. I didn’t really think much of it. I thought she was trying to get out of the car. Then I realized the smoke was building up inside of the car.”
Fleming said he tried to open the door, but it was jammed. He started pounding on the window with the base of his first, but it wouldn’t budge. So he started kicking the window.
Eventually it gave way and he said he pulled the woman out of the car to safety.
“Then I noticed my leg was bleeding pretty bad, so I figured I should get out of there,” Fleming said. “I came back (to the team facility), got it bandaged up, and then went to the hospital.”
Fleming said he got 22 stitches on his leg after doctors had to remove a fragment of glass from his leg. Yet he still played on Saturday.
“I didn’t think about it too much,” Fleming said. “You’ve got stitches on your leg, so it’s in the back of your mind, but I was just excited to be able to play. Because the first thing that came into my mind was ‘Damn, my leg is pretty cut up today,’ and I wasn’t sure how it would affect me and how it would affect my game. But I was fine.”
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.
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