Marc SchlabachNovember 11, 2023, 11:27 a.m. ET3 minute read

Virginia RB Perris Jones removed after big hit

Perris Jones is carted off the field after a Virginia touchdown in the third quarter against Louisville.

Virginia running back Perris Jones underwent spinal surgery at the University of Louisville Medical Center on Friday, a day after being injured in the Cavaliers’ 31-24 loss to Louisville.

In a statement published onthe school said the surgery was successful and Jones was able to walk briefly Saturday morning.

Virginia said Jones remains under observation and will be transferred to the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Louisville for further care when his medical team deems it appropriate. A Virginia official previously announced that Jones had movement in all of his extremities.

Virginia RB Perris Jones underwent spinal surgery after being injured in the third quarter against Louisville on Thursday. He will remain in hospital for observation.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jones, a senior from Alexandria, Virginia, was injured after catching a pass late in the third quarter Thursday night. He fumbled on the play and fell forward into a pile of several Louisville players. Because the play took place near the Louisville sideline, Cardinals coaches immediately ran to help. Cavaliers receiver Malik Washington recovered the fumble and scored a touchdown.

Virginia players, some in tears, dropped to their knees as they watched in stunned silence. Jones is roommates with fellow teammate Mike Hollins, who survived a shooting that killed three of his teammates last November. The one-year anniversary of the deaths of Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry is Monday.

Jones was eventually placed on a gurney, completely immobilized. Hollins, who has Perry’s number 41 on the white ribbon he wears on the back of his arms, was among the players to get closest to the cart before it started.

“It’s a very, very difficult reality of the sport we play, that every game can end that way, and you don’t wish that on anybody,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said after the game. “Man, I know one thing: (Jones) is a tough young man and he puts it on the line every time he plays for this football team. (We) believe and pray that he makes a full recovery. .. I put this in the hands of the Lord, I ask it in advance and I believe it will be.

ESPN’s Andrea Adelson contributed to this report.

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