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.