Everyone’s familiar with the Redskins’ stars, players such as Robert Griffin III, London Fletcher and Alfred Morris. But who are some of the important players no one is talking about, the team’s unsung heroes? Over the next week, reporter Tarik El-Bashir will take a look at five of them.
Name: Nick Sundberg
Position: Long snapper
Contract: Restricted free agent
Why he’s notable: Usually when a long snapper is in the headlines, it’s for all the wrong reasons. But when Nick Sundberg made news in New Orleans, it was for a gutsy effort in the Redskins’ season-opening victory over the Saints.
Sundberg suffered a broken left arm late in the first half, but remained in the game and made four snaps on punts, two on field goals and two more on extra points. The 25-year-old’s feat was featured in his hometown paper, Sports Illustrated, on national sports websites, a t-shirt and earned him an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
A few days later, Sundberg received the ultimate recognition from his own team: the Redskins used their only injured reserve/designated to return exemption on the third-year professional, who ranks among the game's best players at his position. By receiving the special status, he was eligible to come off IR later in the season.
And he did just that in Week 11. Sundberg performed flawlessly in the team’s final seven regular season games and the wild card loss to Seattle. He was also one-third of the field goal operation that saw first-year kicker Kai Forbath set the record for most consecutive kicks (17) to open a career.