This past week, Patriots fans learned that center Logan Mankins had played through an injury during all of last season. It wasn’t just a small bump or a nagging bruise, either.
Mankins had been playing through the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Yet despite suffering one of the most painful and rehab-intensive injuries in spots, Mankins never said a word.
On Sunday, another football player stepped up to play through pain. Washington Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg played through a broken arm for the entire second half of his team’s 40-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints. After getting injured on a special teams play, Sundberg returned for nine successful snaps thanks to a “very small dosage of painkillers” and some adrenaline.
Of course, playing through injuries is nothing new to fans of hockey. The mysterious “lower body injuries” that follow players from game to game can be anything from a sprain to a broken bone or torn ligament, with fans not often hearing about the severity of issues until the season is long over.
Bruins fans will remember that Nathan Horton battled through the 2011 playoffs with a seriously separated shoulder before he was knocked out of the Stanley Cup Final with a concussion. Then again, a sport in which players are allowed to — and often encouraged — to punch each other in the face needs pretty tough characters to survive.