For the first time in his three-season NFL career, Nick Sundberg watched practice from the sideline on Wednesday.
“We’ll see how today goes, going out to practice and watching someone else do my job,” he said before walking to the field at Redskins Park. “It’s going to be different for me.”
Sundberg broke his left forearm during Sunday’s 40-32 victory over the Saints, then returned and snapped the ball nine more times in the second half.
On Tuesday, the Redskins signed veteran Justin Snow and placed Sundberg on injured reserve under the new “designated to return” exception, which allows the long snapper to return after missing eight games. Each team receives only one IR exception each season.
“It means a lot that the coaching staff felt strongly enough about me to use that one spot on me,” said Sundberg, who was sporting a full-arm cast. “They only have one. To use it up now on me, really showed a lot.”
Sundberg said the designation also gives him a specific date to aim for, which he hopes will help keep him focused during the long hours of rehab. The 25-year-old is eligible to return to practice in six weeks.
“I have a timeline,” he said. “I have to be back by this date. It puts some pressure on making sure that everything is perfect by the date I’m [supposed] to come back.”
No surgery was involved, he said, and doctors have told him that he’ll likely miss 4-6 weeks. After three weeks, he’ll be reevaluated and could be put into a half-arm cast.
“It’s a wait-and-see kind of thing,” he said. “This was a clean break. Looked like someone took a Sharpie and drew a line all the way through the bone.”
After learning that the ulna bone in his arm was cracked at halftime, Sundberg joked that he knew he had to return the moment he walked back onto the field.
“Will [Montogery] was warming on the sideline with Sav [Rocca],” he said, smiling. “I looked at it and said, ‘I’m going back out there.’”
Sundberg had always wanted to be featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter – and on Tuesday, he got that chance. He did a phone interview with anchor Mike Hill.
“I wish it didn’t happen under these circumstances,” Sundberg said Wednesday. “When our PR guys texted me and said, ‘Do you want to be on SportsCenter tomorrow?’ Do even have to ask? Is that a question? Uh, yeah, and can I get a copy? It was surreal.