Cast off his broken left arm, long snapper Nick Sundberg is ready for an imaginary movie that will document his playing the second half of Week 1 despite the injury
“Yeah Brad Pitt is playing me,” he said jokingly. “I don’t know if you know that, but we look a lot alike.”
Of course there won’t really be a movie, but Sundberg gained national popularity for snapping the ball nine times despite the broken arm in the Redskins’ victory at the New Orleans Saints. His 15 minutes of that fame might be up, but that’s a good thing for a guy who is eager to practice and play as soon as possible.
Officially, that cannot happen until Week 11. The Redskins put Sundberg on injured reserve with the designation of being able to return. Under the NFL rule implemented just this season, he can begin practicing in a week but can’t play for another two.
“I don’t think they took long snappers into account when they created this rule. I think the two weeks to practice but not play are to get back into game shape. What long snapper do you know that needs to get back in game shape? Let’s be honest.”
Sundberg had his cast removed Oct. 10 and can begin practicing Oct. 24. He is eligible to return Nov. 18 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
He will be re-evaluated Monday to see if he can get back on the practice field.
“It all depends how on the evaluation goes on Monday,” Sundberg said. “I’ve got to get re-X-rayed and see how snapping goes just with the limited mobility in the wrist and things like that.”
Sundberg broke the same bone, the ulna in his left arm, in high school but admitted being “young and stupid, so it took quite a bit longer to heal then.” This time, he continued single-arm weight-lifting and began testing some with his left arm once the cast came off.
Aside from lifting weights, Sundberg was just relieved to get some flexibility back in the wrist because of the stiffness that the cast created.
“My mobility was already pretty limited in this wrist,” he said. “So then being stuck in a cast for a month really, really just amplified how awful it was. I actually got quite a bit back in a week.”
The physical rehab is one thing, but the 25-year-old has had to deal with sitting and watching, which is even more painful.
“This is the longest I’ve gone since snapping since … ever,” he said. “I’ve never gone a full month, five weeks, without snapping. That’s been the most difficult part is just being inactive and not doing anything.”
It would get worse if the Redskins decided to keep Justin Snow, the long snapper they signed after Sundberg’s injury, if his chemistry with Sav Rocca and new kicker Kai Forbath builds up over the next few weeks. Asked about that possibility, he admitted it was a tough question to answer.
“I would hope not. I want to play,” Sundberg said. “Whatever the coaches decide I’m going to roll with.”