Posted: 1 hour ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former NFL defensive lineman Al Lucas died on Sunday from a presumed spinal cord injury sustained while trying to make a tackle for the Los Angeles Avengers during an Arena Football League game, the team said.
Lucas was taken to California Hospital and all attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, team physician Dr. Luga Podesta said in a statement.
Members of the team were prohibited from speaking to the media after the game. A call to a California Hospital spokesman was not returned.
"It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Al Lucas. At this time, the thoughts and prayers of the entire Avenger organization are with his wife and family," team owner and chief executive officer Casey Wasserman said in a statement.
The 26-year-old Lucas was injured during a first-quarter kickoff return against the New York Dragons.
Television replays showed Lucas bending down to make a tackle. The Dragons' ball carrier and a blocker tumbled over his head and back, with the blocker's leg appearing to hit Lucas in the head. Lucas did not move after falling to the ground.
The 6-foot-1, 300-pound (1.86-meter, 135-kilogram) lineman played two seasons (2000-01) for the Carolina Panthers.
He was selected to the Arena League's All-Rookie team in 2003 while playing for Tampa Bay.
"Al Lucas played arena football with passion and integrity. The entire AFL family extends its deepest sympathies to Al's wife and family as well as his friends, family and teammates," commissioner David Baker said in a statement.
Lucas was married to De-Shonda Lucas and had a daughter, Mariah.