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Saints sign paralyzed former Tulane player Devon Walker

devonwalker AP

Devon Walker’s football career ended last season when he collided with a Tulane teammate, injuring his C3 and C4 vertebrae and leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. But today, Walker is a member of the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints signed Walker on Saturday and welcomed him to their rookie minicamp, and Saints coach Sean Payton said it was an inspiration to the team to have Walker around.

“When Devon got hurt, his football career was just starting to take off after three years of hard work,” Payton said. “Despite the devastating injury he suffered, Devon refuses to let that define him. He is an outstanding young man, who is not only an inspiration to his coaches and teammates at Tulane, but to all of us. Devon’s character, determination, intelligence and work ethic are everything that we look for in a New Orleans Saint when we sign a player. This is the least we can do to recognize Devon and these attributes that we want all of our players to have.”

Saturday was a big day for Walker: He also participated in graduation ceremonies at Tulane, where he has earned his degree in cell and molecular biology.

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51 Responses to “Saints sign paralyzed former Tulane player Devon Walker”
  1. scoobies05 says: May 18, 2014 6:51 AM

    this is an incredible story. great job by the saints. good luck Devon walker

  2. thegonz13 says: May 18, 2014 6:54 AM

    A nice texture on the part of the Saints and this young man can realize his dream of being part of an NFL team.

  3. footballtalk1 says: May 18, 2014 6:57 AM

    AWESOME!

  4. Raider Jon says: May 18, 2014 7:00 AM

    Much respecy for the player and the Saints organization.

  5. custardchucker says: May 18, 2014 7:01 AM

    Does Tom Benson see the irony in bringing in a guy who suffered a serious injury whilst trying to get laws passed that would have screwed him?

  6. lumas101 says: May 18, 2014 7:03 AM

    This is a great move, and I believe one that the Bucs did with Eric LeGrand.

    Can anyone remind me, are the Saints actually allowed to pay him for this signing, or is it just a ceremonial contract? I can’t remember for sure how it works.

  7. seanb20124 says: May 18, 2014 7:04 AM

    Cell and molecular biology huh?? Smarter than me I know that

  8. thetooloftools says: May 18, 2014 7:11 AM

    Best wishes !

  9. tinytoolalldrool says: May 18, 2014 7:11 AM

    You are right custardchucker.

  10. raiderufan says: May 18, 2014 7:17 AM

    Good on the Saints for this but the real story is a degree in cell and molecular biology…thru everyhing he maintained focus and drive and finished what he started. Thats damn impressive.

    I hope all the best for this young man.

  11. z06vision says: May 18, 2014 7:25 AM

    Classy move. Ravens and 49ers take some notes.

  12. gsomatt says: May 18, 2014 7:33 AM

    His story deserves more media coverage than Michael Sam’s.

  13. drcap says: May 18, 2014 7:35 AM

    Cell and Molecular Biology? Nice! Not exactly Rocks for Jocks. Good Job, Devon. Classy move by the Saints.

  14. commonsensedude says: May 18, 2014 7:46 AM

    Kudos to the Saints. Completely classy move!!

  15. dwntwnbadboy19 says: May 18, 2014 9:15 AM

    Nice job Devon Walker for getting degrees and graduating. Pretty cool/classy move by saints too! Good story to wake up to.

  16. beckzhere says: May 18, 2014 9:33 AM

    Anything related to the Saints makes my skin crawl. However, they get a pass on this one. Great move.

  17. kd75 says: May 18, 2014 9:36 AM

    Think he makes the 53 man roster?

  18. qdog112 says: May 18, 2014 9:42 AM

    Nice PR move for the Saints to bring some joy to the young man’s life.

    Thumbs up.

  19. luccabrazzi says: May 18, 2014 10:07 AM

    Very cool. First class move from a first class organization. Cell and molecular biology huh? That’s also very impressive. Must be an intelligent young man. Here’s to you Devon wishing you all the success you could possibly dream of and more. Not only are you an inspiration to the Saints and the rest of the NFL, but you’re an inspiration to me as well. Whenever I feel down about myself or my life I will think of you and all the challenges you face on a day to day basis. Just the simple things that i take for granted like putting my clothes on in the morning must be a tremendous chore for you. I will work my hardest to be equally as strong as you are mentally, physically, and emotionally. Again, best wishes.
    Sincerely
    Tefilio

  20. 700levelvet says: May 18, 2014 10:08 AM

    Stories like these, which go way beyond football, perhaps the comment ratings thing should be disabled. Here’s a young man, who should be an inspiration to everyone, and people wishing him well get a thumbs down. I like to bust balls in the comment section, but it’s all in fun, it’s just a game. Imagine if it was a member of your family dealt such a harsh blow…It’s sad actually that people are so inhumane.

  21. chc4 says: May 18, 2014 10:12 AM

    Do they have the cap space?

  22. chawkup says: May 18, 2014 10:24 AM

    Congratulations from one Tulane alum to another! Classy move by the Saints, too!

  23. SilentMajority says: May 18, 2014 10:24 AM

    Great move by the Saints! First you put out bounties on players in hopes of ending careers, and then you bring in this guy to show how sympathetic and generous of an organization that you are! Classy indeed…

  24. clarkisgod says: May 18, 2014 10:38 AM

    Having gone through the same injury, I wish him a tremendous recovery. I wish I could hunt down the losers who would thumbs down a guy who can’t walk anymore.

  25. daveshingle says: May 18, 2014 11:17 AM

    Football is dangerous. Remember when Peyton had to sit out a year cause the Saints were intentionally trying to hurt other players and wreck their careers. Not that classy of an organization.

  26. gpenpilot says: May 18, 2014 11:37 AM

    First classy move I’ve seen the Saints make in quite some time.. and they had to copy the Bucs to do it. Either way very positive story, wish you heard more of that out of Naaawlins

  27. patriots123456 says: May 18, 2014 11:40 AM

    You don’t have to like the Saints…

    But how anyone could not appreciate this jesture is beyond me…

    A big thumbs up for the Saint on this move…

  28. gohawks7 says: May 18, 2014 11:57 AM

    Sucks that a guy with great intelligence had to have that horrible injury while brain dead dullards make bazillions.

  29. justsomerandomguy24 says: May 18, 2014 11:59 AM

    Patriots should have signed him. Not only does he seem like a good guy, I bet he still has better coverage skills than Patrick Chung.

    Seriously though. Cool thing to do by the Saints, and the young man sounds like a winner.

  30. scw1993 says: May 18, 2014 12:20 PM

    What a terrific kid and education is always the key. Good going, Saints, awesome gesture.

  31. rikalicious1 says: May 18, 2014 12:25 PM

    Hey Oprah! Advantage in the making? And one more honest than the next

  32. ridingwithnohandlebars says: May 18, 2014 12:34 PM

    Oprah should do a documentary series about this guy since I think there is an opening.

  33. Brinke says: May 18, 2014 12:35 PM

    Great move.

  34. thetooloftools says: May 18, 2014 12:40 PM

    THIS IS REALLY WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT !

  35. dherrington2014 says: May 18, 2014 1:03 PM

    Keep growing and contributing. You are amazing, Devon.

  36. contract says: May 18, 2014 1:11 PM

    I refuse to praise an organization for a public relations stunt.

  37. natelan69 says: May 18, 2014 2:17 PM

    Lol, his last name is “Walker”!

  38. whodat5150 says: May 18, 2014 3:32 PM

    Yeah, it was a classy move by my Saints. I think Jim Harbaugh is as classless as they come but I have to give the 49ers props for drafting Brandon Thomas (3rd rd), the Clemson that got hurt working out for my Saints. Even though he’s not with us, I hope BT fulfills his NFL potential; except when he’s playing us (lol).

  39. mdd913 says: May 18, 2014 3:53 PM

    custardchucker says: May 18, 2014 7:01 AM

    Does Tom Benson see the irony in bringing in a guy who suffered a serious injury whilst trying to get laws passed that would have screwed him?

    —————————————————————–

    You mean the bill that is a good thing for literally every other employee in the state of Louisiana that is not a multimillionaire pro athlete? Sorry, maybe it’s time somebody started looking out for roofers and carpenters and people that actually, you know, work for a living and stop catering to the millionaires.

  40. whatevnfl says: May 18, 2014 4:08 PM

    Niners would have already traded him for a conditional 5th round pick.

  41. GrossmanDaSexCannon says: May 18, 2014 4:23 PM

    natelan69 says: May 18, 2014 2:17 PM

    Lol, his last name is “Walker”!
    ——————————–

    Why did I have to hit the bottom of the page to find this joke?

  42. ckruszka says: May 18, 2014 4:47 PM

    Good story. Geaux Saints! Bless you Boys!

  43. nativeraider says: May 18, 2014 4:48 PM

    What position was he?

  44. bobleblah says: May 18, 2014 4:54 PM

    Classy move…something in my eye

  45. samapoc says: May 18, 2014 6:00 PM

    Saints are probably the best team for being part of the community in the league. This is a class move from a class team.

  46. 1standinches says: May 18, 2014 6:30 PM

    I want Devon Walker’s autograph.

  47. kimbo71006 says: May 18, 2014 6:32 PM

    THIS is why I’m a Saints fan for life!

  48. nyneal says: May 18, 2014 6:38 PM

    Wow!
    As a parent of a quadriplegic son, this makes me very happy. Hats off to a classy move by the Saints!

  49. phinjunky1985 says: May 18, 2014 7:08 PM

    I think they should trade him to another team and they should trade him to the next team until he has been signed by every team in the NFL so that he can touch the lives of every player in it !!!

  50. discosucs2005 says: May 18, 2014 7:15 PM

    Great move by the Saints, but even more impressed (but not surprised) with the Walker finishing his biology degree. Anyone that’s read an interview with him knows that he’s got that crucial combination of being hardworking, and incredibly sharp. He’s almost certainly going to go on to have a fruitful and fulfilling career in the scientific community.

  51. vstar1us says: May 18, 2014 10:58 PM

    First Class!

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