Washington Redskins long-snapper Nick Sundberg played the entire second half despite breaking his left arm late in the first half of the team’s 40-32 season-opening win over the New Orleans Saints.
On the play when Saints receiver Courtney Roby scored a touchdown off a blocked punt, Sundberg broke his left arm when it was hit by a helmet.
After the play, Sundberg was seen jogging to the locker room with a trainer, but then stopped, turned around and came back to the sideline in case the Redskins had to punt again in the final 40 seconds of the half. X-rays revealed a broken arm, but Sundberg returned after halftime with his left arm heavily wrapped.
He took the field a total of six times in the second half (two punts, two field goals and two extra point attempts). He managed to get the ball back to punter Sav Rocca (also the team’s holder) each time. Sundberg said he never considered leaving the game and turning long-snapping duties over to center Will Montgomery.
“I told [special teams coach] Danny [Smith] a long time ago that I don’t care what happens. I’ll play through anything,” Sundberg said. “They’ve given me the opportunity to play on this team and I’m going to give them everything I have in every game I play in. It doesn’t matter. Right when it happened, I knew. I was like, ‘Dang it. This sucks.’ I think it helped that I had already broken it before, so I didn’t know what to expect, but you know, I just kind of had to fight through it and tell myself that it didn’t hurt. It was awful.”
Sundberg said he suffered the same injury in high school. “I can feel it moving around, yeah. I broke the same bone before, so I know what it feels like.”
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he’d never seen a player play through such an injury. “There are not a lot of guys that can snap with a broken arm. It shows what kind of warrior he was today.”
There is no word yet on the whether Sundberg will play next week.