Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had a nearly flawless post-season that culminated in Sunday’s Super Bowl win. But by Wednesday afternoon, he resembled a novice quarterback at rookie minicamp, fumbling away an opportunity to save a broken play.
Stafford was steps away when photographer Kelly Smiley, on hand for the Rams’ Super Bowl celebration, fell backwards off a stage and fractured her spine. Her sudden drop shocked Stafford, who opted to avoid the situation like a Bengals’ pass rush.
Stafford saw her fall and told Kelly to take care of it pic.twitter.com/FmzGJNZQXf
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 17, 2022
Within an hour of the accident, video of the fall and Stafford’s response went viral.
Early Wednesday evening, Smiley replied to a video of her fall with an injury update via her Twitter account: “That’s me 😰. Waiting at the ER for X-ray results. Both my cameras broke but I’m ok.”
Smiley received assistance almost immediately, including from Stafford’s wife, Kelly. Unfortunately, despite the help, Smiley’s fall didn’t have a happy ending. As time passed, Smiley found out that her cameras weren’t the only things shattered.
“Unfortunately I fractured my spine,” tweeted Smiley, a photo editor who covers the NFL, NBA and NHL.
Unfortunately I fractured my spine https://t.co/LeDjF4EJnp
— Kelly Smiley (@kellysmiley23) February 17, 2022
In response to her fall, friends of Smiley set up a GoFundMe to assist with her medical bills and the cost of her damaged equipment. In less than 24 hours, close to 700 people have donated, and more than $29,900 of their $30,000 goal has been reached.
Since he missed an opportunity to prevent the fall, maybe Stafford should dial up a Hail Mary for the injured Smiley.
UPDATE: Reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Matthew and Kelly Stafford committed to fully covering Kelly Smiley’s medical costs stemming from the injury on Wednesday.
Rams’ QB Matthew and Kelly Stafford announced they will be covering the medical expenses for Kelly Smiley, who fell off a stage during Wednesday’s Super Bowl parade and fractured her spine: “We have been in communication with Kelly Smiley … and we are sorry for what happened.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 17, 2022
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