You might be sitting down to breakfast, maybe lunch, as you read this, and so we apologize for ruining your meal with this post.
Football is a violent sport, as we know, and what happened to Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson during Arizona's loss to New Orleans yesterday is as stomach turning and awful as it gets.
S rashad Johnson lost top of right middle finger Sunday. Took glove off and finger was still in
— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) September 23, 2013
That's simply horrific.
According to Somers, the great beat writer for the Arizona Republic, Johnson had surgery. The bone was exposed so much, doctors fear infection. Somers (who said later it was actually Johnson's left middle finger that injured) said that it happened on a punt return as Johnson tried to tackle Darren Sproles, and that the Cardinals weren't sure what happened. Johnson might have smashed his finger on the ground. One would assume that if a player lost part of a finger on a tackle the details would be quite clear.
Doctors shaved down the bone and Johnson lost his finger "about down to the first knuckle," according to Somers. Ugh.
The injury is a callback to 49ers safety Ronnie Lott, who lost the tip of his left pinky finger after an on-field injury. The story of Lott deciding to have the tip of his finger removed so he wouldn't miss any playing time has become part of the legend of his toughness. The myth is also misleading, because Lott says he regrets the choice now.
"We are losing the compassionate side of sports," Lott said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "We're becoming gladiators. If I ever become a coach, I hope I never lose sight of the fact that players are people. They feel, they have emotions. I could have all of Eddie DeBartolo's corporations and it isn't going to buy me a new finger. It has given me a new perspective on life."
We hope Johnson is OK physically and mentally after one of the more brutal injuries we've heard about in the NFL in a while.