Report: Tampa Bay player to leave NFL after losing fingers in Lincoln Co. fireworks accident

(AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

LINCOLN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson is reportedly walking away from professional football after he suffered a severe hand injury in a fireworks accident on the Fourth of July.

The former Lincolnton High School standout lost two fingers on one hand – his index and middle fingers – after fireworks exploded in a canister Wilson was holding.

“For me [his NFL future] really doesn’t matter,” his father, Curtis Wilson, Sr., told WBTV in early July. “My son is alive so God took care of him as far as that. I guess we’ll cross that bridge later on down the road.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers told WBTV they were preparing a statement to be released Friday afternoon.

Wilson said his son was with a group at a friend’s house in Lincolnton the night of the Fourth.

“Having fun with fireworks,” Wilson Sr. said. “I’m not sure where they purchased it from, exactly what nature it was, but had one explode while he was holding it in his hand.”

Wilson said he was not with his son when the accident happened, but he was told C.J. “waspretty much holding the canister – not trying to hold the fireworks – but the canister that it was supposed to pop out of… well it didn’t pop. It exploded inside the canister.”

That’s when Wilson said C.J.’s friends “put him in a vehicle and took him to the [local] hospital.”

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was later called to the CHS Hospital in Boger City because someone with C.J. Wilson was “apparently upset about the injury and punched a hole in the EMS bay.”

Boger City Fire Chief Mitch Burgin told WBTV “there was a smoldering pair of pants in the trunk of the car that brought C.J. to the hospital.”

Chief Burgin said emergency personnel used fire extinguishers to put out the fire, which he described as very small.

C.J Wilson was later taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he underwent multiple surgeries.

Wilson graduated from Lincolnton High School in 2008, and went on to play football at NC State. He played the 2013 season with the Chicago Bears and joined the Bucs for the 2014 season.

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