Tom Flores suffers fractured C2 veterbra in fall at AT&T Stadium

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Tom Flores, the Oakland Raiders' two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, is recovering from a fall he suffered after Oakland's exhibition at the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 26.

The 80-year-old Flores now serves as the color analyst on Raiders radio broadcasts, but he missed the preseason finale and the regular-season opener. He expects to be at the Oakland Coliseum for the Raiders' home opener against the New York Jets on Sunday while wearing a neck collar.

"I took a header, boy," Flores, who sustained a fractured C2 vertebra, a broken nose and 13 stitches above his left eye, told "I'm not through yet, though."

Flores said the fall occurred as he was attempting to leave the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium. The Raiders, invited by Dallas, watched the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight in a suite. After the bout, as Flores and several players and team employees were leaving the room, Flores' feet caught on a rug. He was carrying a bag on his shoulder that came forward and shifted his weight, forcing the fall onto his face.

"I looked scary," Flores said with a laugh. "I played 10 years of professional football and four years in college before that, and I never had six stitches. Now this."

Flores did not want to make a big deal out of his fall.

"Every day I'm doing a little better," Flores said. "The MRI said it looks like no surgery, so that's good. But it looks like I'll have to walk around wearing this neck collar for six weeks. I plan on being at Sunday's game."

The first Latino starting quarterback in pro football history with the Raiders in 1960, Flores was also the first minority coach to win a Super Bowl, which he did with the Raiders in Super Bowl XV. He won another three years later when the franchise was located in Los Angeles. Flores has a third ring as an assistant on John Madden's Super Bowl XI-winning staff and a fourth as Len Dawson's backup on the Kansas City Chiefswhowon Super Bowl IV.