Why'd Shawn Lauvao leave the field in a wheelchair?

Chris Lingebach
November 08, 2018 - 5:25 pm


One of the more minor unanswered questions left over from last Sunday's game against Atlanta, but still unanswered nonetheless, is why Shawn Lauvao was wheeled off the field in a wheelchair, rather than a cart.

It was an peculiar sight, seeing a hulking, 300-pound man confined to an average human-sized wheelchair. Even four days later, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is still amazed by it.

"Why was Shawn Lauvao in a wheelchair?" he asked Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan. "I've never seen a wheelchair at an NFL game. Wasn't that bizarre?"

JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington was able to offer this unofficial explanation.

"What I was told, and again, this is just a working theory, is they bring the cart out on the field," he told 106.7 The Fan. "And, if you've been at FedEx, or really any NFL stadium, there's a big kind of opening from the tunnel out into the field that a cart can get through.

"But with Lauvao, they'd already gotten him to the sideline. If you remember, they were able to help him off the field."

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
"And then once you're on the sideline," Finlay continued, "it's tough to bring the cart to the sideline, because the cart would have to come up through the field and then like through all the players, coaches. Everybody there on the sideline would have to part ways. There's not enough space to go back behind everything with the cart."

"Is that a stadium thing then?" Dukes asked. "Because I feel like I've seen guys get carted off after they've made their way over to the sideline? Or maybe I haven't."

"It's also possible they can," said Finlay. "Here's what I can tell you for sure, is that between the tunnel where they would go and the Redskins' bench is the instant replay booth, where the refs run over and watch the replays. And that takes up a good chunk of space right there.

"And then you've got all the other stuff – you've got the kicking nets, there's all the TV equipment – so my guess is that they couldn't get the cart to him. Or maybe they could have, but it would have been a much more laborious process or whatever. Again, that is my educated guess."

No matter. Lauvao won't return, as he's lost for the season with a torn ACL. But at least we have a little more insight into that odd sight that we saw.

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