Vikings' Antone Exum: 'My life could have possibly been on the line'

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Antone Exumknew he was badly hurt during a game earlier this month. But even with thoughts about his own mortality crossing his mind, the Minnesota Vikings' safety chose to stay in the game.

"Thoughts went through my head: 'I could die out there,' just for the simple fact that I didn't know what the problem was," Exum told the St. Paul Pioneer Press in an email. "But I knew we didn't have anyone else [to play] safety."

Exum suffered a fractured rib and an injured AC joint in his shoulder trying to tackle Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson in the first quarter of a game Dec. 6. However, because the Vikings were short-handed at the position, he chose to keep playing even though he wasn't able to run at full speed with the injuries.

"I was feeling a pain in my chest with every breath and motion," Exum wrote to the Pioneer Press. "It was scary because I didn't know what it was."

He was placed on injured reserve two days after the game.

"I knew that the way I compete sticks to a code of never giving up," Exum wrote to the Pioneer Press. "I knew that it means a lot to the guys next to me. Therefore, I couldn't come out.

"I know I didn't play my best game, and that hurts me because I left it all on the field from an effort standpoint and we came up short. But I'm a warrior and made a choice to keep playing when I thought my life could have possibly been on the line. That, I can live with."

ESPN Staff Writer Ben Goessling contributed to this report.

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