Hayden Hurst, a tight end with the Carolina Panthers, suffered a brain injury last month. On Wednesday, it grew even more serious.
Due to the blow to the head he sustained on November 9 against the Chicago Bears, the player’s father, Jerry Hurst, revealed on social media that his son has been diagnosed with post-traumatic amnesia. Hurst is apparently out for good.
The hit that most likely resulted in Hurst’s injury is visible below. The 30-year-old was declared out of every game due to a concussion and hasn’t participated in a game since his head struck the ground at Soldier Field.
It’s interesting that Hayden returned to practice the same day the elder Hurst made his declaration. Hurst had been listed on the Panthers’ injury report as a non-participant with a concussion in the weeks following the injury, but on Wednesday he was listed as a limited participant.
His return was announced on the Panthers website, where it was stated that he was playing his first game back with the team since his injury while donning a red no-contact jersey. That level of public disconnection between a player’s family and team is uncommon.
Hurst is in his first season with the Panthers after signing a three-year, $21.7 million deal with the team last offseason. The former first-round pick played the previous five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals, posting 1,718 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns while holding his own as a blocker.
He didn’t have as much success in his first nine game with the Panthers, who have struggled to a 1-11 record and already fired first-year head coach Frank Reich amid myriad offensive issues. Hurst’s absence has been yet another obstacle for first overall pick Bryce Young.
Hurst has also spoken about mental health issues in the past, revealing that he attempted suicide while drunk in 2016. He has been sober in the years since then and has remained open about the topic while working as a fundraiser for nonprofits.