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Long Snapper Sundberg Practicing Again

Posted by Andrew Walker on October 26, 2012 – 8:18 am

(AP photo)

It’s been nearly 50 days since Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg played an entire half with a broken arm.

After receiving the welcomed news that the team had used a brand new IR designation on him that allows the Cal product to return this season, Sundberg — whose arm was placed in a heavy cast the day after the injury — had to wait for the natural healing process to work its magic before he could return to the practice fields at Redskins Park.

In those nearly seven weeks, Sundberg has gotten his 15 minutes of fame, celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month and even began selling shirts that documented his injury. But, more than anything, Sundberg — who remained a mainstay at the team’s facility throughout his recovery — was itching to get back onto the field and get back to snapping.

That’s exactly what happened Tuesday, as Sundberg — sans cast — returned to practice for the first time since breaking his arm Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints. Sundberg said the practice sessions went well, but his arm still is not quite at the point where pain isn’t an option.

“I snapped Tuesday and Wednesday and it went really well,” Sundberg told ESPN 980. “The only thing that was kind of bothering me was my arm was extremely sore today [Thursday]. So I took today off of snapping and I’ll go out there [Friday] and see how it is.”

Sundberg said snapping repetitions are important to recovering as quickly as possible.

“The only thing that’s going to get it better is to actually get out there and do it more,” he said. “So I’m just trying to do what I can in the training room and make sure that I’m getting my wrist stretched and work on the mobility in my wrist and my forearm and things like that so I can try to get back as soon as possible.”

Sundberg recalled suffering the injury in the first half of the game against the Saints, but, with no other viable options for the Redskins at long snapper for the rest of the game, he said he knew he has to toughen it out — even though he said the pain at times reached a 9.5 on a scale to 10.

“I mean, originally when it broke, at halftime when we got the x-rays, it was only broken about three-quarters of the way through the bone,” he said. “And then, early in the fourth quarter I felt it snap all the way through. That was awful.”

Even though there were some very painful experiences that game for Sundberg — including times where he had to take a knee and then “keeled over” — he said he never cried for one specific reason (other than being a tough-guy football player).

“No, fortunately I didn’t cry,” Sundberg said. “My mom was in the stands and I couldn’t let her see me cry.”

Sundberg said he’s remained grateful for his coaches for using the new designated-to-return IR spot — a team only gets one per season — on him.

“Just talking with [special teams coordinator] Danny Smith about our options, he brought it up, and I was like, ‘C’mon, they’re not going to use that spot on me,'” Sundberg recalled. “When the rule came out, I guess when the coaching staff had talked about it they said it’s going to be on a first-come, first-serve basis; they’re not going to save it for one position or anything like that. Danny used that for his argument, and it worked out.

“It definitely meant a lot to me. Just some of the things that Coach Shanahan came out and said in the media, and then actually using the spot on me, it meant a whole lot.”

Sundberg said he hopes to return for the Redskins’ Week 11 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField. The team signed veteran free agent long snapper Justin Snow as Sundberg’s temporary replacement.

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