Losing hurts. Bad.
Lose a game in the NFL? That stings for a week.
Lose players to season-ending injury? That can vex a team until the next season.
For example, the Cards learned that they lost a pair of key players on Monday. In Lorenzo Alexander (foot) and Sam Acho (broken leg), the Cards lost a couple of outside linebackers and special teams standouts, not to mention two team leaders who supplied plenty of energy.
As a fan tweeted me earlier today – “Sam Oucho.”
Hang on, though. It’s one thing to lose a game (31-7 at New Orleans) and another thing entirely to lose…wait for it…a body part. Or, at least, a part of your body. Shall we say, that sort of loss is permanent.
That’s right. Just ask Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson, who joked that “it probably wouldn’t have been used for anything good anyway.”
He’s talking about the middle finger on his left hand. At least, what’s left of it after team doctors cut off his glove after a tackle on Sunday and discovered the tip of his finger stayed inside.
“I was more upset I couldn't return to the game than I was about my finger," Johnson told the media at the Cardinals training site in Florida. "It was a 7-7 game at the time and I wanted to be out there with my teammates."
Doctors performed surgery and shaved down the bone on the damaged finger and stitched it back up leaving Johnson “day-to-day,” according to Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians. Yes, Johnson says he might be able to play on Sunday at Tampa.
"It's a different kind of injury. It’s something I have to adjust to but at the end of the day I've got nine more (fingers)," Johnson joked. "It shouldn't change the way I play, you generally catch balls with the index finger.”
If football is game of sacrifice and the game demands that players sacrifice their bodies, well, we now have a player who has redefined “giving ‘em the finger.”
But don’t think that it didn’t hurt. It did. Bad.
“I don't know if there is a word I can use to describe the pain," Johnson said. "To have someone chip away at your bone and dig into it to get to the point of where it can be covered up, it's pretty painful the day after."
In case you were wondering just how bad the injury is, Johnson tweeted out a picture of his finger Monday night. (Warning: Graphic images).
By the way, how did Johnson suffer the injury? Good question. He’s not certain that he knows the answer.
He believes that while he was on punt coverage attempting to tackle Saints running back Darren Sproles that his finger somehow got caught in the Superdome playing surface.
By the way, Johnson says that following surgery, his middle finger and index finger are roughly the same length.
Did we mention that football is a game of sacrifice?
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