ENGLEWOOD - Denver Broncos offensive lineman Dwayne Carswell’s season is finished and his long-term football future is in question after he suffered serious injuries in a five-car crash early Thursday morning.
Carswell suffered a ruptured spleen, a ruptured diaphragm, multiple fractured ribs and a contusion of his entire left internal cavity, according to the Broncos. He underwent surgery to remove his spleen and repair internal organ damage. According to the Broncos, Carswell was at the intensive care unit at Aurora South Medical Center in critical but stable condition and his prognosis was “very good.” Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Carswell wouldn’t be allowed visitors until at least this afternoon. “The surgery went as well as it could possibly go and we’ve got our thoughts and prayers with him,” Shanahan said. Aurora police said that a summons was issued to 22-year-old Marquita Brister for careless driving. According a police press release, Brister is believed to have caused the accident by making an abrupt lane change. Public information officer Tony Guzman of the Aurora Police Department said Carswell was traveling southbound on South Parker Road. The car driven by Brister was traveling northbound on South Parker Road near the intersection of East Hampden Avenue and cut off another car, causing a collision. The cars crossed a raised median into southbound traffic. Three southbound cars were struck, including Carswell’s car. Guzman said firemen had to cut the door off of Carswell’s vehicle, a 1994 Chevrolet Caprice. The accident happened at about 7:10 a.m. Carswell was on his way to Broncos headquarters for meetings. Guzman said Brister was the only other person involved in the accident who was taken to the hospital, and she was released before noon. Carswell had no responsibility in the accident, Guzman said. “In no shape or form was he at fault,” Guzman said. “He was just an innocent party driving southbound.” Carswell will not play again this season, Shanahan said. Shanahan wouldn’t classify Carswell’s injuries as career-ending or careerthreatening. Shanahan said Carswell, 33, could return next season, but he faces a long recovery. Carswell’s contract with the Broncos runs through 2006. Carswell has been with the Broncos since 1994. Only kicker Jason Elam, who was drafted by Denver in 1993, has been with the team longer. Carswell played tight end until this season, when he was switched to the offensive line as a backup. He caught two touchdown passes in Denver’s fourth game this season at Jacksonville on lineman-eligible plays. Carswell made the Pro Bowl in 2001 and has 192 career catches and 15 touchdowns. He never has missed a game because of injury. The only game he has missed since 1996 was last year when he was suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Carswell was suspended after he pleaded guilty to a charge of battery stemming from a 2003 incident in Atlanta with a female friend. Word of Carswell’s accident started traveling through the locker room before Shanahan addressed the players at the beginning of the daily team meeting at 9 a.m. Shanahan said Carswell called his wife, Tamara, on his cell phone after the accident, and Carswell’s wife called longtime teammate Rod Smith. “We’re praying for a fast recovery and that everything will be back to normal,” Broncos offensive tackle George Foster said. “There’s a lot of life after football.” CONTACT THE WRITER: 476-4891 or firstname.lastname@example.org