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Many don’t realize that Las Vegas Raiders teammates Derek Carr and Davante Adams were on the same team prior to the latter’s blockbuster trade this offseason.
Fresno State is where Carr threw and Adams caught passes during their collegiate careers. But they also shared an intense, life-threatening moment together that will never be forgotten.
“We almost died together,” Adams said to ESPN.
One day, the teammates decided to go whitewater rafting in the Upper Kings River in the Sierra Nevada mountains near their school, and it turned out to be a pretty poor decision.
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Accompanied by Carr’s now-wife, Heather, the guide of the trip, Ryan Soares, said there was one rule on the expedition: “Don’t stop paddling.” Well, that’s exactly what happened when they entered Banzai Hole, which is a notoriously tough rapid to paddle through.
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“I stop paddling as soon as we get through there because – literally – we were going down,” Adams said.
One by one they started falling out of their raft. And Soares even said you “technically” could die in the rapid, though he didn’t really think it was probable. But Adams admitted thinking this was the moment everything would end for him, with a life awaiting him in the NFL as well as Carr.
Luckily, that wasn’t the case. They had to swim to shore before facing a 75-foot rock face, and they managed to do so.
In order to get back, though, they had to return to the raft and finish out the rapid. One can only imagine their thoughts at that moment, but the golden rule wasn’t broken this time.
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“After we cleared the boat, we had a talk on the shore, one more time, about how important it is to never stop paddling. From that point on, they were the best paddlers I ever had,” Soares said.
Of course, there are risks playing football, but Carr and Adams probably feel much safer in pads and helmets on turf when it comes to their want for adrenaline.
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The Raiders will face off against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1 on Sunday, where their chemistry will be tested early. Their bond in life, though, needs no questioning after that scary moment.