CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS Tampa/AP) — The father of Tampa Bay cornerback C.J. Wilson told a Charlotte television station that his son lost two fingers in a July 4 fireworks accident.
Curtis Wilson Sr., appearing on WBTV, said the fireworks did not pop out of the canister when they exploded.
“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 Sr. told WBTV.
Wilson Sr. added that “C.J. is doing great.”
“He has a lot of family and friends around him, lots of people coming to send up their prayers. He’s doing good right now,” he told WBTV. “He’s on pain killers. A little bit of pain medicine has him down a little bit, but when that wears off, he’s the same old C.J. joking and kidding.”
The Buccaneers had confirmed that Wilson injured one of his hands in the July 4 accident. And his agent also told ESPN the incident involved fireworks.
In a statement Wednesday, the team said its “primary concern at this moment is for his long-term health.”
Wilson was injured near his hometown of Lincolnton, North Carolina. He played at North Carolina State and has appeared in four NFL games over two seasons, two coming last year with the Bucs.
Maj. Lee Caskey of the Lincoln County sheriff’s office said there was no call for an ambulance or emergency medical care that night, though a fire department and the sheriff’s office were eventually called to a hospital where Wilson had been taken for treatment.
Caskey didn’t have details about Wilson’s injury.
Boger City Fire Department Chief Mitch Burgin said firefighters responded to a report of a fire in a car parked at the hospital that night, though it was out by the time they arrived.
In an email to The Associated Press, Burgin said hospital staff put out a fire in the vehicle’s trunk with extinguishers. Firefighters later arrived, removed “a smoldering pair of pants” from the trunk and “used water to completely extinguish” the pants.
Lincoln sheriff’s Lt. William Brooks said he and others from his department also responded to the scene and saw blood inside the vehicle.
“There’s not any kind of criminal investigation or anything going on into it,” Brooks said. “It all appears to be just a bad accident.”
Wilson’s injury was the second accident involving an NFL player over the Independence Day weekend. New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul also is recovering from injuries from an incident involving fireworks.
ESPN reports Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated.
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