The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers agreed to suspend their Week 2 preseason game on Saturday night after Patriots rookie cornerback Isaiah Bolden had to be removed from the field following a scary hit to the head.
UPDATED (Aug. 22, 1 p.m.): Head coach Bill Belichick confirmed today that Bolden is in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
UPDATED (Aug. 20, 8:35 a.m.): Sunday morning brought the best possible news from Bolden. He has been released from the Aurora Bay Medical Center in Green Bay following hours of observations.
The team also announced “that due to the circumstances” of Saturday night’s game, New England’s joint practices scheduled with the Tennessee Titans this week have been canceled. The full release is below.
An update on Isaiah Bolden pic.twitter.com/4TQIH0wWDq
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 20, 2023
Patriots, Packers Stop Game Following Isaiah Bolden’s Injury
Bolden collided with his teammate, Patriots linebacker Calvin Munson, while guarding Packers receiver Malik Heath in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s game.
Bolden stayed down on the field following the play before being assisted by medical personnel from both clubs.
He was down for several minutes before trainers brought a stretcher and a medical cart to remove Bolden from the field. The entire Patriots roster was on the field as Bolden was moved to the cart and taken to the locker room.
As he left the field, Bolden was wearing his helmet, but his facemask had been removed. His arms and legs were strapped to the medical cart.
Thankfully, the Patriots have since released a statement indicating Bolden “had feeling in all his extremities.” A short while after midnight, the Patriots announced that Bolden would be held overnight at a local hospital in Green Bay and that they would give an update regarding his condition on Sunday morning.
Patriots cornerback Isaiah Bolden sustained an injury during the fourth quarter of tonight’s game. He had feeling in all his extremities, but has been taken to a local hospital for further tests and observation.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) August 20, 2023
After Bolden received on-field medical attention, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, and Patriots veteran Matthew Slater met with referee John Hussey, who subsequently announced that the remainder of the game would not be played.
The game was called with 10:29 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Patriots leading 21-17.
New England selected Bolden in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Bolden, 23, spent two years at Florida State before completing his college career at Jackson State.
“He’s been a joy to be around,” Slater said of Bolden, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.
“He’s a young man with a lot of talent, always has a smile on his face, is always positive, is always bringing great energy and effort to practice … All the guys love him. He’s fit into our locker room seamlessly.”
Slater also praised Belichick’s handling of tonight’s incident.
“I think our primary concern is Isaiah, his well-being,” Slater said after the game, according to Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald. “Our entire team is praying for him and hoping things aren’t as serious as they seem.
“I really appreciate what coach Belichick did tonight. He took the initiative on (suspending play). That was one of the proudest moments I’ve had as a guy who’s played for him for now 16 years.”
Quarterback Mac Jones agreed.
“I think coach Belichick just really did a good job there talking with Slater and the leadership of the team,” Jones said. “Obviously handled the situation.
“Him and Slater did a great job in the locker room, just talking to the team like he always does. He tries to bring us together. It’s all real emotion. We really appreciate him and Slater and those leaders on our team who can bring us together during a tough time. I thought that was smart.”