Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson may play this weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a freak injury that severed the tip of the middle finger on his left hand and left the bone exposed.
Johnson, in his fifth National Football League season out of the University of Alabama, said his hand went numb after he attempted to tackle Darren Sproles of the New Orleans Saints on a punt return two days ago. Johnson’s hand was bloody as he ran to the sideline and he said his fingertip, including the nail, remained in his glove when it was removed by a team doctor.
Johnson, 27, underwent surgery and had the wound stitched up, though the fingertip wasn’t re-attached.
“I’m not even sure how it happened,” Johnson told reporters. “If I had to take a guess, I would say it dug into the turf and then kind of snapped and broke that way. The glove wasn’t torn or ripped, so that makes me think it didn’t get caught on a face mask or a cleat stepped on it.”
Johnson said whether or not he plays in this week’s game against the Buccaneers will depend on his pain tolerance and the risk of infection in his finger.
“A big part of it is infection because the bone was exposed when I pulled it out of the glove,” Johnson said. “The pain tolerance as well, but the infection will probably be the number one thing that decides if I play or not.”
Johnson has 13 tackles in the first three regular-season games for the Cardinals, who have a 1-2 record.
“It’s a different injury,” Johnson said. “We hear about ACLs, shoulder separations, things like that, but for somebody to lose a part of their finger, that’s something you can’t go put back on. It’s gone. It’s something that I’ll have to adjust to, but at the end of the day. I’ve got nine more.”