Long snapper Nick Sundberg entered the locker room Monday at Redskins Park with a cast that extended past his elbow, the result of suffering a broken left arm in the second quarter of the Redskins' 40-32 victory at New Orleans on Sunday.
On Washington's first punt, which would be blocked and result in a Saints touchdown, Sundberg said his arm caught between safety Reed Doughty's face mask and another helmet, leading to a break of the ulna bone.
Yet Sundberg stayed in for eight more snaps, despite excruciating pain.
"I think at the end of the day, you have to look at yourself and see what you're made of," he said. "It was a test to myself. It was pretty terrible, but I felt like I really didn't have another option."
Coach Mike Shanahan said Sundberg would not be available for this week's game at St. Louis and that the team would bring in candidates for the position.
"The biggest disappointment for myself is that now, moving forward, if I do have to sit and watch from the sideline, I've never done that before," Sundberg said. "I've never missed a game. That will be the most difficult part."
Still, Sundberg's gritty effort drew praise from his teammates, who were impressed with the snapper's resolve.
"When you see a guy doing that, it makes your tweaked ankles and tweaked hamstrings and your little aches and pains not seem so bad," nose tackle Barry Cofield said. "It's inspiring."
In other injury news, Shanahan reported that X-rays on Pierre Garcon's foot were negative but that it remained "sore," and said safety Jordan Bernstine would miss the rest of the season after tearing ligaments in his right knee.
The Redskins placed Bernstine on the Reserve/Injured list later Monday and signed free agent safety Jordan Pugh to take his roster spot. Pugh, 24, played in 27 games the last two seasons for the Carolina Panthers.
The challenge facing the Redskins defense going into Week 1 was huge — find a way to slow the explosive Saints offense and All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees.
And even though the final score might suggest otherwise, it was mission accomplished.
Brees threw for 339 yards, but he completed only 46.2 percent of his passes while Washington held the Saints' ground game to just 32 yards on 10 attempts. And despite running 64 plays, New Orleans only possessed the ball for 20:50.
"You could play all day at that pace," nose tackle Barry Cofield said. "You start getting a little tight on the sideline sitting around so much."
The Redskins made life miserable for Brees, getting consistent upfield push against the Saints' offensive line, effectively snuffing out the rushing attack and forcing Brees to scramble.
"We made him run all over the place," defensive lineman Adam Carriker said. "We were hitting him. I felt like we were pressing the pocket and making him dance all over. He's not the tallest guy in the world, so it makes it hard for him to throw."
One win at a time
The Redskins are 1-0 for the third straight season, but after beating Dallas in 2010 and the New York Giants in 2011 only to finish in last place both seasons, no one is putting too much stock in Sunday's win.
"It was huge for us to beat the Saints, but we have to forget about it," linebacker Brian Orakpo said. "Everybody has to be on the same page and not be celebrating like we won the Super Bowl already. We just have to continue to work, progress and get better like we did against these guys."
Shanahan also was quick to tell his team not to get ahead of itself.
"As I said to our team after the game, it's one game," he said. "We've got 15 left. Our football team is mature enough to understand that it was a nice win, but it was one win. What you do over the course of the season dictates what type of team you are."
Back in the trenches
Guard Kory Lichtensteiger finally returned to the field Sunday after missing nearly a year with a torn right ACL, which he suffered last October against Philadelphia.
"You kind of forget how sore you get after an NFL game," said Lichtensteiger, who missed all four preseason games after aggravating the injury during training camp. "The second half for me was better than the first. It's been a long time, so there was a little acclimation period I had to get through."
Shanahan was pleased with Lichtensteiger's play after such a long period of inactivity.
"I thought Kory did a great job considering he hadn't played in a game-type situation," Shanahan said. "To be able to play as many plays as he played at the level he played at, I was very pleased."