An NFL player has revealed he remained on the field for an entire game having not realised he'd broken two vertebrae in his spine.

Indianapolis Colts starting guard Matt Slauson suffered the serious injury early into the third quarter of last Friday's defeat to the New England Patriots.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Slauson didn't realise how serious the injury was and risked permanent paralysis by staying on the field.

"I had no idea how close I was to changing my family's life," Slauson told the Indianapolis Star.

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Slauson played all 83 offensive snaps in the team's defeat and started each of the Colts first five games this season after signing as a free agent in March.

Slauson was a sixth-round draft pick of the New York Jets in the 2009 draft and has played with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers, Chicago Bears and the Jets, who Indy visits Monday NZT.