Nick Sundberg defends Brandon Meriweather at the expense of Ray Rice

Brandon-Meriweather-RedskinsWashington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for an illegal hit on Torrey Smith. Meriweather is a known head-hunter, and the league noted that the hit on Smith was his “sixth violation of unnecessary roughness rules relating to his hits to defenseless players and impermissible use of the helmet.”

Despite the fact that Meriweather has been a dangerous player throughout his career, several of his teammates came to his defense after the punishment was handed down. Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg wondered how Meriweather’s suspension is the same length as Ray Rice’s.

Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall said that Smith ducked rather than Meriweather aiming high and urged his teammate to keeping playing the way he has been.

“Keep hitting,” Hall said Monday. “I’ll pay the fine.”

[Related: Martellus Bennett wants to punch 'scumbag' Brandon Meriweather]

Meriweather, who knocked Eddie Lacy out with a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit last season, has always been a dirty player. The hit on Smith was borderline, but he no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.

As for the Rice comments, the league is going to hear that a lot. The NFL has been heavily criticized for only giving Rice a two-game ban after he was seen dragging his wife out of an elevator, which is why the league is considering harsher punishment for future offenders.

GIF via @cjzero

Redskins long-snapper Nick Sundberg played entire half with a broken arm

It takes a complete team effort to beat the Saints in Louisiana in the season opener, and that’s exactly what the Redskins got on Sunday. Robert Griffin III and company marched into the Superdome and dominated the Saints, who scored a couple of touchdowns late to make the game appear closer than it actually was. Had Washington long-snapper Nick Sundberg not played the entire second half with a broken arm, who knows if the result would have been the same.

According to the Washington Post, Sundberg broke his arm late in the first half on the play where the Saints scored on a blocked punt. He remained on the sidelines for the final 40 seconds of the half in case the Redskins had to punt again, and X-rays during halftime revealed he had broken his arm. Despite what must have been an extremely painful injury, Sundberg had trainers wrap the arm and played the rest of the game.

“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 also broke the arm in high school, so the sensation (if you want to call it that) was a familiar one. He took the field in the second half six times, as Washington punted twice and attempted two field goals and two extra points. Mike Shanahan referred to Sundberg as a “warrior” in his postgame press conference.

We have heard of players playing through some nasty injuries in the Super Bowl before, but playing through a broken arm in the first game of the season is easily one of the more gutsy things we’ve seen in the NFL.