MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rough start to the day for the Washington Redskins: The two buses transporting players, coaches and team personnel to the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday collided on an interstate exit ramp on their way to TCF Bank Stadium.
The Redskins arrived relatively safely, but not wholly unscathed. Bumped knees and whiplash were common complaints. Team spokesman Tony Wyllie said before the game no one was injured, but coach Jay Gruden confirmed afterward that rookie running back Silas Redd Jr. was held out of the game because of back spasms.
The game began as scheduled, and the Redskins seized an early 10-0 lead before faltering late and falling to the Vikings 29-26.
"A little unique way to start the day, when you're getting ready for a football game and you're five feet from driving off a cliff onto the highway," said Gruden, who reported a stiff neck.
Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said one of the Minneapolis police squads escorting two buses crashed into a guard rail and ended up in front of the buses. He said the first bus braked, but the second bus rear-ended the first bus on the ramp. He said the accident call came in around 8:15 a.m., a little less than four hours before kickoff.
Roeske said the officer in the squad car was taken to a hospital. He added there were minor injuries such as scrapes and bruises on at least one bus passenger but said he didn't know how many sustained injuries.
Wide receiver Pierre Garcon tweeted a photo from inside one of the buses showing a badly shattered windshield. He said in his message on Twitter: "So this just happened. But we are ok."
The photo showed a police car parked in front of the bus and emergency workers, one pushing a stretcher on wheels, standing in the road.
"I was just listening to my headphones, seeing that we were coming close to the other bus," linebacker Trent Murphy said. "You knew you were going to have impact, and honestly I was just really worried about the bus driver. The window shattered. Thank God he had on his seat belt. I ended up in the middle of the aisle in between the seats, but all of us were good. That didn't affect the game. We're going to have some bruises and some scrapes, but we were able to play."
Quarterback Robert Griffin III was on the second bus. The driver of the first bus was credited for his quick reaction.
"He rolled back over the guard rail from the grass back onto the highway to save them. Real grateful for that," Griffin said, adding: "We're grateful to be able to come out here and be able to play a game. A lot of guys had their lives flash before their eyes. Not a good moment."
AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski and Associated Press Writer Carrie Antlfinger contributed to this report.
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