CULVER CITY, Calif. (AP)_Teammates gathered at the Los Angeles Avengers practice facility to remember former Troy University and NFL lineman Al "Big Luke" Lucas and reflect on the team's future without him.
Lucas, who spent two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, didn't get up after making a tackle Sunday and the six-foot-one, 300-pounder was taken from the field unconscious on a stretcher. The 26-year-old Lucas later was pronounced dead at California Hospital Medical Center from a presumed spinal cord injury.
One teammate says players expected to hear that Lucas was paralyzed or unconscious and that they'd go to the hospital and pray for him there.
Lucas, a native of Macon, Georgia, was the top defensive player in Division I-AA in his senior season at Troy.
He played for the Panthers in 2000 and 2001, getting 49 and a half tackles in 20 games.