Redskins long snapper plays through broken arm

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Redskins long snapper plays through broken arm

From Comcast SportsNet

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- Late in the third quarter of Robert Griffin III's NFL debut, Washington Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg grabbed the rookie quarterback on the sideline and made a request.

"I know we're rolling right now, but keep it up," Sundberg said he told Griffin. "Because I don't want to go out there for another punt."

This wasn't a teammate simply urging the offense to score more points. Sundberg was in pain.

It'll go down as the other remarkable performance in RG3's stellar first game. Sundberg broke his left arm in the first half and continued to play -- snapping the ball four times for punts, twice for field goals and twice for extra points in the second half of Washington's 40-32 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

"We've got a story to tell to our kids and our grandkids, how we played with a guy who played a whole game with a broken arm," defensive tackle Barry Cofield said Monday. "I'm going to remember both. RG3's going to come first, obviously, because that's what they're going to ask me about, but when my grandson scrapes his knee, I'll tell him about the guy who played with a broken arm."

Sundberg was hurt when his arm was squeezed between a helmet and a facemask during the punt that was blocked by the Saints and returned for a touchdown. He knew immediately what had happened because he broke the same bone in high school. The doctors on the sideline kept urging him to get an X-ray, but Sundberg instead kept asking for something to ease the pain so he could keep playing.

"I think at the end of the day you've got to look at yourself and see what you're made of," Sundberg said. "It was terrible, but I felt like I really didn't have another option."

The Redskins -- like most NFL teams -- have only one top-notch long snapper on the roster. Will Montgomery is listed as the backup, but that's mainly because someone has to be the backup. The team will have to sign another snapper if Sundberg can't play, which appears likely now that he's been fitted with a large cast that will make snapping difficult.

Sundberg said he got hit on the broken arm a few more times during the game. Yes, it hurt.

"It's one of those things you've kind of got to keep telling yourself it doesn't hurt, it doesn't hurt, it doesn't hurt," he said. "At some point, you convince yourself: There's only a few more minutes left, only a couple more snaps, I can get through it, I can get through it."

Then came that conversation with Griffin in the third quarter, which naturally caught the rookie off guard.

"He was like, What do you mean?'" Sundberg said. "Dude, my arm hurts so bad, and it hurts so much worse to throw punt snaps. I was like, Don't make us punt again.' Then we kind of laughed about it, and I was like: I'm serious.' He's like, Oh.' No pressure rookie, but I don't want to punt again."

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Camden Yards earns top spot in top 100 stadium experiences

Camden Yards earns top spot in top 100 stadium experiences

Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md. grabbed the top spot in a list of the top 100 stadium experiences of 2016. 

There are very few stadiums in sports that you could even argue offer a backdrop that's as aesthetically pleasing or as unique as Camden Yards. The long brick train warehouse in right field along with the view of the Baltimore skyline in center field, gives Camden Yards as cozy of a feeling that you can get while at a sporting event. Add in the fact that O's fans are always into the games and have many gameday traditions, Camden Yards' number one ranking is perfectly justified. Just writing this makes me long for some crab fries and a cold beverage while watching the Orioles on a Saturday afternoon in the summer. 

Checking in at number 14 on the list is the stadium that's right next door to Camden Yards, and that's M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens. This stadium was ranked the best stadium experience in the NFL, beating out Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Lambeau Field for the top spot. 

Navy Marine Corp Memorial Stadium, home of the Naval Academy's football team, entered the rankings at number 49 on the list. Go to a game at Navy Marine Corp Memorial Stadium and you'll see some good football in a place that is full of history and patriotism. 

The final mid-atlantic area stadium that made the list was Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegal Center in Richmond. Home of the VCU basketball team, the Siegal Center has developed into a really tough place for teams to play. Since the Rams run to the Final Four in 2011 and the development of the basketball program under former coach Shaka Smart, VCU has turned into a perrenially good college basketball team. Couple a good team with a loud, intimate 7,500 seat stadium and you've got yourself a really cool venue to watch college basketball.  

Related: Top 25 college football uniforms 

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Alex Ovechkin critical of officiating Monday in Pittsburgh

Alex Ovechkin critical of officiating Monday in Pittsburgh

A couple of days have passed, but Alex Ovechkin is still miffed about the multiple missed calls in Monday’s 8-7 overtime loss in Pittsburgh.

Speaking after Wednesday’s practice in Arlington, the Caps’ captain specifically referenced two of them—Patric Hornqvist’s high hit on T.J. Oshie and Sidney Crosby’s blatant trip on him in overtime.

“If it’s there, it’s there,” Ovechkin said, asked about remaining composed when addressing referees. “Like even last game, how many calls they miss?” Before four-on-four, it was a straight headshot on Osh and no call.”

The Capitals were leading 3-0 when Hornqvist forearmed Oshie’s jaw in the corner, briefly sending the first line winger to the dressing room. Following the ensuing scrum, Hornqvist and Daniel Winnik were sent off for roughing, and the Penguins struck twice as the sides skated four-on-four.

“Just call it,” Ovechkin said. “You killed the game and killed our momentum.”

Ovechkin did not address reporters after the game and the Caps were off on Tuesday.

The referees at PPG Paints Arena were Frederick L’Ecuyer and Dan O’Halloran.

Ovechkin also did not like the non-call on Crosby, who used his stick and skate to trip him as he carried the puck with speed early in the extra session. Conor Sheary ended the game moments later.

“I would say it was a pretty bad situation out there,” Ovechkin said. “In overtime, the same. There was clear trip and no call, but everybody makes mistakes.”

He added: “It’s emotion moments. I think everybody get involved, everybody has emotions. Again, if it’s [a] 100-pecent call and nobody make a whistle or don’t make a call, of course everybody going to be mad and sad about it.”

Another missed call that had an impact on the game arrived early in the third period. As Karl Alzner went to play the puck along the boards in the Caps' offensive zone, Bryan Rust cross checked the defenseman, creating a turnover. Rust gathered the puck, passed it to Sheary, who then found Crosby, who sniped a shot past Philipp Grubauer to make it 7-5.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz said he did not discuss the missed calls with the league. He also said it was his team’s execution four-on-four—and not its mindset after the missed call on Oshie—that sparked the Penguins’ comeback.

“I think you would lose your mind if you worried about every call,” Trotz said. “For the most part, I stand behind the referees. I think our sport is extremely difficult [to officiate]. It can be very frustrating. It’s easy for coaches and fans and media to look at plays in slow motion—without trying to avoid behind hit by pucks and people—and staying out of everybody’s way and making calls. Once-in-a-while [calls] are going to be missed. And when they’re missed at times of opportunity for the opposition, you can get frustrated. But I don’t lose too much sleep over it because I know I can’t change it.”

Related: Trotz doesn't think loss to Pittsburgh will send Capitals into a slump