Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor has fallen into a coma following surgery for a life-threatening gunshot wound suffered early Monday morning at his South Miami home, FOXSports.com has learned.
Redskins officials are en route to South Florida to visit Taylor.
One source said there is a concern Taylor suffered brain damage from the loss of blood and may not survive.
"It doesn't look good," the source said. "But he's young, strong and extra healthy. That's what he's got going for him."
Taylor was shot on the inside of his leg during a home invasion involving "one or maybe more" individuals, the source said. The bullet pierced Taylor's femoral artery, causing him to get rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
The 24-year-old player was in the intensive care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital after several hours of surgery, said family friend Richard Sharpstein, his former lawyer.
Doctors are worried the blood loss might affect blood flow to the brain, said Sharpstein, who was at the hospital with Taylor's family and friends.
Officers were sent to Taylor's home at about 1:45 a.m. after his girlfriend called 911 and said he was shot in his lower body, Lt. Nancy Perez said. Taylor had missed the last two games because of a knee injury and was at home recuperating. Taylor was airlifted to the hospital.
Investigators were still interviewing the girlfriend and other relatives who were in the home to try to determine what happened, Perez said. No arrests have been made.
"It could have been a possible burglary; it could have been a possible robbery," Perez said. "It has not been confirmed as yet."
Sharpstein said Taylor's girlfriend told him the couple was awakened by loud noises, and Taylor grabbed a machete he keeps in the bedroom for protection. Someone then broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one missing and one hitting Taylor, the lawyer said.
"It was clearly a burglary, an armed burglary," Sharpstein said, adding nothing appeared to have been stolen.
The shooting happened at a home Taylor bought two years ago in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay. The player is in his fourth season with the Redskins after playing at the University of Miami, where he was an All-American in 2003. Despite his injury, he is tied for the NFC lead with five interceptions.
In Ashburn, Va., Redskins owner Dan Snyder said he was headed to Miami on his private plane, joined by running back Clinton Portis, vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato and trainer Bubba Tyer.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to Sean and his family. ... We appreciate very, very much the outcry of support," Snyder said.
Redskins safety Pierson Prioleau fought to keep his composure.
"This is not just a member of the Washington Redskins," said Prioleau, one of a few players made available to reporters. "But we're talking about a dad, a brother, a friend of ours, and that's where we're at with this right now."
Coach Joe Gibbs was joined by the team chaplain at the Redskins' usual Monday meeting. A small group of players held a separate prayer gathering.
The Redskins (5-6) lost 19-13 at Tampa on Sunday. Taylor did not travel with the team to the game because of his injury. Taylor sprained a ligament in his right knee in the second half of the Nov. 11 loss to Philadelphia. He was expected to miss at least two games.
Known as one of the NFL's hardest hitters, Taylor played in his first Pro Bowl last season, where he drew attention by leveling the other team's punter in what is usually a well-mannered exhibition game. Even though he has missed two games, his five interceptions remained tied for most in the NFC.
Taylor has been in trouble numerous times since he was drafted as the No. 5 overall pick in 2004. He has been fined at least seven times during his professional career for late hits and other infractions, including a $17,000 penalty for spitting in the face of Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman during a playoff game in January 2006. He also was fined $25,000 for skipping a mandatory rookie symposium shortly after he was drafted.
Redskins coaches and players have defended Taylor, saying he was smart and misunderstood. Taylor has been slow to let anyone in his inner circle. He has rarely spoken to reporters, saying he does not trust them. Teammates said he became more mature over the last year after he became a father for the first time.
In 2005, Taylor was accused of brandishing a gun at a man and repeatedly hitting him during a fight that broke out after Taylor and some friends went looking for the people who had allegedly stolen his all-terrain vehicles.
Taylor reached a deal with prosecutors last year after they agreed to drop felony charges against him. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors in the assault case and was sentenced to 18 months probation. The pleas prompted another fine from the NFL but kept his football career intact.
He also was ordered to talk about the importance of education at 10 Miami schools and had to contribute $1,000 for scholarships to each of those schools.
The man Taylor allegedly hit, Ryan Hill, sued, seeking at least $15,000 in damages. Hill sustained bruises to his body, incurred medical expenses and lost wages because of the fight, the lawsuit said.
FOX Sports on MSN - NFL - Source: Taylor in coma after surgery