The career of a NFL long-snapper often goes overlooked. However, Nick Sundberg of the Washington Redskins drew plenty of attention Sunday after he continued to play after breaking his arm against the New Orleans Saints.
Sundberg joined the Sports Junkies Monday morning to talk about the fracture and how he was able to warrior through the pain.
“Yesterday … it was the worst thing I ever put myself through,” Sundberg said.
He suffered the fracture during a blocked punt in the second quarter. Literally adding insult to injury, the Saints returned the block for a touchdown.
The pain was all too familiar for the California product.
“I knew the feeling,” Sundberg said. “I broke the same arm, so I knew exactly what happened right when it happened. I was more pissed off than anything, because I knew I just broke my arm.”
Playing through injuries is commonplace in the NFL, but it’s rare feat to accomplish when its so severe. There’s just something that hits home when we see a guy going back in the game with a snapped limb dangling from his body.
You can’t think of the Philadelphia Eagles losing in the Super Bowl without remembering T.O. limping on and off the field, having rushed back from a broken leg to play in the biggest game of his life.
Sundberg told the Junkies he was numb at first and maybe that affected his decision making.
“I was like ‘Well this really sucks,” he said. “Am I going to be able to go back in? And I was really really upset. So I think the shock that I had just broken my arm with the adrenaline racing was covering up the pain at that point.”
That numbness quickly expired and the reality that he would soon have the crushing weight of a 300-pound lineman pressing up against his shattered limb came flooding into his brain.
“When that went away and it kind of set in it was definitely pretty awful,” Sundberg said. “I was just happy that I was able to fight through it and deal with it and keep telling myself that it didn’t hurt, and we were able to get a ‘W.’ ”
Football often battle tests the character of men under the most extreme circumstances. Being a long-snapper, Sundberg’s playing time is limited.
Common logic would say he didn’t have too many snaps left after the injury and it’s only one half of a football game. So, no big deal. Right?
“How many snaps did you make with the broken arm?” he was asked.
“I believe it was eight because we had that one punt twice,” Sundberg responded.
He told the Junkies he took an anti-inflammatory and a minor pain reliever and returned to the game.
“I broke the same bone in high school so I knew what to expect but I never thought it was going to be that bad,” he said.