For everyone in McMahon Stadium on Friday seeing Brandon Guillory lie motionless on the turf was tough.
But it was especially hard on fellow defensive lineman Jabari Issa.
Guillory's injury brought back memories of Issa's college teammate Curtis Williams, who was paralyzed during a game while playing for the University of Washington Huskies in 2000 and died 19 months later.
"It was especially tough for me because I had a teammate pass away," Issa said. "He actually got the injury the year after I graduated, but he was still in my same class."
On Friday Guillory was hit by Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman Bobby Singh and temporarily lost feeling in his legs. Guillory was still in a Calgary hospital yesterday.
"He had feeling at some point in time only from his waist up," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia. "Then the longer he was on the ground he started to get some sensation in his legs. His motor wouldn't actually let his legs move. At the end just before he was taken away by ambulance, I saw him moving his feet and the doctor saw the same thing.
"There were a lot of positive signs. He's still at the hospital in Calgary. They're running an MRI today and it may be another day or two before they let him out. This is not going to be one of those deals where he'll be in the lineup Thursday. It's something that could be long term."
Guillory was injured late in the second quarter. The six-foot-four, 253-pound defensive end slipped off a block and was blindsided by Singh.
"He never saw it coming," Maciocia said. "There was no mal intent by the guard. It was a clean shot. The way he hit the ground, I thought someone had shot him from the upper deck, the way his arms were laid out. The longer he stayed down the more concerned I was.
"Regardless of what happens, it's the worse feeling in the world having a guy down for about 15 minutes before he was taken away. It's a scary feeling."
Issa was on the field at the time, but didn't see the hit. He got a better look at it on film yesterday.
"It was just one of those freak occasions where he got caught underneath the chin," Issa said. "I think what did it was his head hitting the ground. It didn't look good at all."
The toughest thing for the players after Guillory was taken away was going back out on the field and finishing the game. At that point the game becomes secondary.
"It's tough but it's one of those things you kind of have to condition yourself for," Issa said.
"It happens, sometimes it's one in a million, sometimes it's one in a hundred. But if you play out there scared you increase your chances of getting hurt even more. You just kind of have to get it out of your head and trust in your equipment."
Word came down to the players by halftime that Guillory had regained movement in his legs.
The Eskimos will now put the native of New Orleans on their injured reserve list.
They expect it'll be a couple of days before the extent of the injury can be determined.
"It's always a relief to find out a player's going to be okay," Issa said. "When it's anybody, even if it was a player from Calgary, it's always good to see him okay and alert and be able to see him do all the things that he was able to do before he stepped on the field."