Broncos' Carswell Critical Following Multi-Car Crash

Offensive Tackle Has Spleen Removed In Five-Hour Operation

Denver Broncos offensive tackle Dwayne Carswell was in critical condition but stable condition Thursday following surgery to remove his spleen and repair other internal injuries.

Carswell, 33, was injured in a chain-reaction traffic accident in Aurora Thursday morning.

A statement from the team said that Carswell "suffered a contusion of his entire left internal cavity, multiple rib fractures, a ruptured diaphragm and a ruptured spleen."

Doctors at Aurora South Medical Center performed surgery, removing his spleen and repairing the internal organ damage, the statement said.

Hospital spokeswoman Beverly Petry said the operation lasted more than five hours.

Carswell was placed in intensive care following the surgery. The Broncos called his prognosis "very good."

Coach Mike Shanahan addressed the team about Carswell's situation before practice. After the team warmed up at the start of practice, the players huddled and broke the huddle by shouting "House" -- Carswell's nickname.

"You just pray for the best. That's all you can do now," offensive lineman George Foster said. "Football is secondary."

"The point is, somebody else is in need and in a grave condition," fullback Kyle Johnson said. "You want to focus on that and make sure that the person gets the attention that he needs."

The multi-car crash occurred at about 7:10 a.m., closing southbound lanes of the heavily traveled Parker Road at Hampden Avenue for about 90 minutes.

One car ended up on its roof and four others had extensive damage as a result of the accident. A female driver was also injured in the same accident but her injuries were minor.

According to police, a green Grand Am and a silver Volvo were traveling northbound on South Parker Road approaching East Hampden Avenue. The Grand Am made an abrupt lane change; cutting off the Volvo and the two vehicles collided, police said.

Both vehicles crossed the raised median and went into southbound traffic. The Grand Am and the Volvo then collided with three other vehicles that were traveling southbound on Parker.

Police issued a summons to Marquita Brister, 22, for the abrupt lane change.

Police said Carswell was not at fault in the accident and was in one of the cars going the other direction that was hit. He was on his way to Broncos headquarters when he was hit.

A former tight end, Carswell is in his 12th year in the NFL. He caught two touchdown passes against Jacksonville this year. He originally signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent from Liberty in 1994.

The Broncos said he would be out out for the season.

Carswell has missed just one game since joining the Broncos in 1995. He and his wife, Tamara, reside in Aurora with their daughters, Ashley and Aaron.

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