Saints sign paralyzed former Tulane player Devon Walker


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.

51 responses to “Saints sign paralyzed former Tulane player Devon Walker

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

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

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

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

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

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

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

  22. 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 !!!

  23. 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.

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