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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Reliever Matt Belisle sounds like safe bet for Nationals playoff roster

Reliever Matt Belisle sounds like safe bet for Nationals playoff roster

After Gio Gonzalez labored through 3 2/3 innings on an inefficient 100 pitches in the Nats' loss to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, it must have been a breath of fresh air to see reliever Matt Belisle take over and record four outs on just seven pitches, including a perfect fifth inning, the final frame on defense for the Nats before their game was cut short due to rain.

Belisle even began the fifth by getting examined by trainer Paul Lessard and pitching coach Mike Maddux. They saw him grimace on several pitches, possibly due to a minor forearm issue he's been dealing with lately. Whatever it was, it didn't affect his results.

“Hey man, this guy’s a man – a very strong man physically and mentally," manager Dusty Baker said. "He said he was fine. I mean, this guy wants to pitch."

Baker said there are no lingering concerns about Belisle's forearm, which contributed to him not pitching from Sept. 8 until Sept. 25. They gave him a rest, but now he's back and has tossed three scoreless innings since.

"I mean, this guy’s a man. He’s what you think about when you think about a Texan," Baker said. "I’m serious.I knew him when he was a kid, in Cincinnati, and he was a man then. He wants the ball."

Belisle hasn't pitched much in recent weeks, but Baker's comments after Wednesday's loss shared insight into his chances to make the playoff roster. In short, he sounds like a lock.

"We have to make sure that he’s ready for the postseason because he’s had a very good year for us. Out of spring training, really wasn’t sure because he had a bad calf. Then he had a bad forearm there for awhile, but this guy has performed admirably."

Belisle, 36, now boasts a 1.76 ERA through 40 appearances this season. He beat the odds to make their Opening Day roster and has since turned into one of their most consistent bullpen arms.

"He’s had very good success against left-handers. You certainly need those guys come playoff time," Baker said.

Given those comments, it appears Belisle will be in store when the Nats face the Dodgers in the NL Division Series. Also in in that mix will be Mark Melancon, Shawn Kelley, Sammy Solis, Blake Treinen and Marc Rzepczynski. 

That leaves little room for others - likely Sean Burnett, Reynaldo Lopez, Oliver Perez and Yusmeiro Petit - to compete for the final spot or spots, depending on how many relievers they carry. Given there is one less starter with Stephen Strasburg's injury, that could open the door for two of those pitchers to make the roster.

[RELATED: Wilson Ramos to have surgery soon, hopes to be back with Nats]

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Elvis Dumervil confirms he plans to play Sunday against Raiders

Elvis Dumervil confirms he plans to play Sunday against Raiders

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil confirmed he expected to be in the lineup Sunday against the Raiders, playing his first game since offseason foot surgery.

“I’m excited to go out in front of our crowd,” Dumervil said. “The team’s been doing great, 3-0 start against a tough opponent, well-coached team, good offense. We’re excited for the challenge.”

Dumervil said he came close to playing in Week 3, but hoped waiting an extra week would make him more effective and keep his foot pain from lingering. Dumervil and Terrell Suggs haven't played together since Week 1 of 2015, when Suggs suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. In 2014, Dumervil and Suggs combined for 29 sacks, making them the NFL's top sack tandem.

“As much I wanted to be out there Week 1, I just wasn’t ready. I’m happy to be coming back with the D-line that we have. The guys inside can rush, Sizz (Terrell Suggs). We haven’t been on the field in awhile.

“Having Sizz alone is a huge impact. Now you start adding (Michael) Pierce, Lawrence Guy, Timmy (Jernigan), Zach Orr, C. J. Mosley. At the end of the day our coverage has been good as well, Dean Pees calling great schemes. It’s a just a great opportunity to come back. For the last couple of weeks I woke up and felt good. You’re never 100 percent in football, (but) that’s one thing I can do, I can play with pain.”

RELATED: Pass defense? Ravens linebackers have it covered