St. Louis Rams receiver Stedman Bailey was shot in the head Tuesday evening in Miami. The injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, and Bailey is in stable condition. He spent Tuesday night in an ICU and was scheduled for surgery Wednesday morning.
According to Ian Rapoport, Bailey was in a car with two relatives and a cousin at the time of the shooting, and the driver of the car has life-threatening injuries after shielding the younger passengers from bullets.
Bailey was a third-round pick by the Rams in the 2013 NFL Draft. Known best for his speed, Bailey has 59 receptions for 843 yards and two touchdowns in his career. He played his college ball at West Virginia University.
Here’s what is known about the incident:
1. He Was Shot in the Head Twice, but His Wounds Are Not Considered Life-Threatening
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Bailey was in a car in Miami with two young relatives and a cousin. The vehicle was fired upon, and Bailey was shot twice in the head. Bailey will have surgery tomorrow, and will spend the night in a Miami ICU.
Before Tuesday, Stedman Bailey was having, for the most part, a quiet season in St. Louis. He only made waves for a touchdown celebration earlier this season, in a Rams road win over the Arizona Cardinals. Bailey scored on a sideline reception, then immediately laid on the ground, using the football as a pillow. Bailey was fined for the celebration, violating the league rules on using the ball as a prop during a touchdown celebration.
2. Bailey Was in Miami With Relatives When the Incident Occurred
Normally, Bailey would be with the Rams as they prepare to face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. But Bailey has been away from the team for almost the entire month, after being handed a four-game suspension by the NFL. Bailey is eligible to rejoin the team after their December 6th meeting with the Cardinals.
Bailey was born in Miramar, Florida, a city about 20 miles from Miami. He played high school football at Miramar, and graduated in 2009 as a teammate of Geno Smith. The pair then both attended West Virginia.
3. Bailey Is Serving a Four-Game Suspension for Substance Violation
Bailey isn’t with the Rams because he was suspended by the NFL earlier this month. He wasn’t available to the media to discuss his violations, but he took to his Instagram to accept his punishment and take responsibility for his actions. Rams coach Jeff Fisher had stated that Bailey would be permitted to work out at Rams Park, but it appears Bailey declined that option.
This isn’t the first time Bailey has missed time for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He was suspended four games for a violation before the 2014 season, but a league policy changed shortened the punishment to two games.
4. The Rams Released a Short Statement After the Incident
Late Tuesday evening, the Rams released a short statement regarding Bailey:
We are aware Stedman Bailey was involved in an incident this evening. We have spoken with Stedman and he is in the hospital in critical, but stable, condition. We are gathering facts about the situation and will provide updates as we learn more.
Bailey is another Rams receiver who has failed to make an immediate impact at the professional level. The Rams have drafted six wide receivers since 2011, and without Bailey, only two are remaining from the roster. Tavon Austin currently leads the team with 31 receptions, tied for 74th-best in the NFL.
5. Many NFL Players Have Tweeted Their Support
News of the incident first broke on Twitter, and some of Bailey’s coworkers have already tweeted their support.
Stedman Bailey first broke into the national spotlight in 2011, when he had a record-setting sophomore season at West Virginia. As part of a high-flying Mountaineer offense, Bailey set school records for both receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
The following season he set another school record, this time for recording five consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards. He has the top two records for receptions and yards in a game, both against big-time college football schools. He posted 13 catches for 303 yards against Baylor, and also put up 14 catches for 225 yards that same season against Oklahoma State.
He finished his college career as a second-team AP All-American selection.