Dan Meers, who has played the KC Wolf since the mascot's inception in 1989, was seriously injured Saturday while practicing for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. No description of Meers' specific injuries was available, but a longtime friend said Meers suffered a serious back injury.
"The injuries appear to be related to the manner in which a third-party company secured the riggings," his attorney, Tim Dollar, said. "However, an investigation is pending."
Meers is listed as an executive committee member of the Newark, Del.-based Mascot Hall of Fame. According to its website, Meers previously performed as Fredbird, the St. Louis Cardinals' mascot, and the University of Missouri's mascot Truman the Tiger.
"Dan is one of the greatest guys on the Earth," said Rod Handley, a Lee's Summit minister who has known Meers for 24 years. "He has a beaming smile always on his face. He's one unbelievable guy."
Handley said Meers is a devout Christian who is a board member for Handley's ministry, Character That Counts.
About 25 friends and church members were at the hospital Sunday when Meers successfully underwent back surgery, Handley said.
"These are not minor injuries," Handley said. "This is very serious."