After earning praise and a great deal of respect in the Washington Redskins locker room for playing the second half of Sunday’s game with a broken left arm, longsnapper Nick Sundberg did not rule himself out for an extended period, saying he would leave his playing status up to the coaching staff.
The dependable long snapper broke his ulna, one of the two long bones in the forearm, near the end of the first half when he got his forearm caught in between a player and helmet. Sundberg began heading to the locker room but turned around and came back to the sideline in case the team needed him to snap.
Sundberg wound up snapping eight more times with a fracture of the bone several inches above his wrist. On Monday he called the pain “pretty terrible.”
“I think at the end of the day, you’ve just kind of got to look at yourself and see what you’re made of,” said Sundberg, who was wearing a cast that covered almost all of his left arm. “It really was a test to myself. I felt like I really didn’t have another option.”
Sundberg indicated he would be in a cast for another couple of weeks and that it’s unlikely he could play while his arm is immobilized. Meanwhile, he’ll be awaiting a decision from Coach Mike Shanahan and the Redskins’ training and medical team about whether he’ll play when the cast is removed.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said later that Sundberg has been ruled out for this Sunday’s game at St. Louis, and that he has no timetable for the long snapper’s recovery.
“We’ll get a chance to talk to the doctors a little later today and see how long it may take to heal,” Shanahan said. “He could possibly play again [this season].”
Shanahan said that the team was in the process of lining up several free agent long-snappers for tryouts on Tuesday.
Sundberg suffered the same injury in high school when he was playing center and defensive tackle. There were four games left in the season that year, and Sundberg recalled giving up defensive tackle but playing the rest of the way at center.
“We’ve all got a story to tell our kids, how we played with a guy who played with a broken arm, toughed it out,” said nose tackle Barry Cofield, who had both ankles heavily iced and wrapped in the locker room Monday. “When we see a guy doing that type of thing, your tweaked ankle, tweaked hamstrings, the little aches and pains don’t seem so bad. It’s inspiring.”