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As the NFL prepares to deal with the new conversations Will Smith’s upcoming drama Concussion brings to the table, the notion of the gridiron as a whole is being maligned in the wake of a high school football player’s death during a “routine play.”

The teen reportedly broke his neck in a fourth quarter play.

Reports ABC News:

Tyrell Cameron, a 16-year-old student at Franklin Parish High School in Winnsboro, suffered an undisclosed injury during the game’s fourth quarter Friday, Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Aaron Monnin, a friend and former teammate of Cameron, said it appeared Cameron tripped and fell into a blocker on a punt return.

“He kind of stumbled and kind of hit [another player] in the chest area,” Monnin, 18, told ABC News. “The bottom part of his face mask got caught in the middle of [the other player’s] pads and pushed his head backwards.”

Cameron didn’t move after the initial hit and was then taken away on a stretcher, Monnin said.

Head coach Barry Sebren called it a “routine play.”

“It’s just such a tragedy. So unfortunate,” Sebren said through tears. “But it’s going to bring us together. It’s going to make us stronger and we’re going to miss him.”

The Franklin Parish Coroner’s Office said the cause of death wouldn’t be released until an autopsy was completed. Cobb said it was unclear whether Cameron had any preexisting medical conditions.

Monnin said he and Cameron had been friends “since [Cameron] was old enough to play.”

Cameron “never really complained about anything,” Monnin said, adding that he was the “kind of guy that you wish you could meet.”

Prayers and condolences go out to the family of Tyrell as well as the player who collided with him.

Photo: Franklin Parish High School

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