SARASOTA, FLA. – Rashad Johnson stood in the hallway of the Cardinals’ team hotel Monday afternoon, the torn-finger-heard-round-the-world at that point bandaged up.
The veteran safety lost the tip of his left middle finger during Sunday’s game in New Orleans – it remained in his glove when it was removed on the sideline – yet Johnson is day to day and could play this weekend in Tampa Bay.
“I don’t think it changes the job too much,” Johnson said. “It probably wasn’t getting used for anything good anyway.”
On a day in which coach Bruce Arians said starting outside linebackers
Johnson was covering a punt and in an attempt to tackle Darren Sproles – Johnson said he doesn’t know exactly how it happened – his hand ended up numb after the play. With blood coming out of the glove, Johnson hurried to the sideline.
Johnson was asking the doctor if he was going to be able to go back it as the glove was being cut off, thinking he might have broken his fingernail. Instead, his finger was “pretty much severed” at the top and still inside his now-removed glove.
The injury was devastating, Johnson said – but not necessarily for the reason most people would think.
“It was a pretty close ballgame, 7-7 at that point,” Johnson said. “It was a big game I wanted to be a part of. I was thinking more about that and upset about that than I was my finger. This kind of stuff happens.”
Just not very often.
“I mean, that’s nuts, especially the way the trainers were explaining the incident, with his glove drenched in blood and leaking like a faucet,” cornerback
The Cardinals will watch Johnson to make sure the finger – after the bone had been exposed right after the injury – doesn’t get infected, and in the meantime, Johnson said he will prepare for the Buccaneers’ game this week like any other and see if he gets a chance to play.
“Guys end up with bad biceps, bad shoulders, bad fingers,” Johnson said. “It’s a part of the game that a lot of the fans don’t get an opportunity to see. They think it’s a fun game we get to go out and play, which it is, but it does requires high risk and that’s something we have to accept. When our team needs us on the next Sunday, if we can play we need to dress up and do it. It’s our job.”
Sometimes, the consequences provide some gross details.
“To lose part of a finger, that’s something you can’t really just put back on,” Johnson said. “It’s something I have to adjust to. But at the end of the day, I’ve got nine more.”