Former Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson is well aware of how brutally dangerous football can be. Having played in the NFL from 2009-16, Johnson has witnessed his fair share of hard hits and injuries.
Unfortunately for the 34-year-old, he sustained one particular injury which stuck with him for the rest of his life — losing the tip of his finger.
Rashad Johnson’s Finger Injury
According to The Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, during the first half of a 2013 game against the New Orleans Saints, Rashad Johnson went to tackle running back Darren Sproles on a punt return, but severely injured his finger in the process. After making the tackle, Johnson scampered over to the sideline only to realize the tip of his middle finger was broken, with the bone exposed.
In what is one of the manliest feats of strength in sports history, Johnson remained in the game until time expired and underwent surgery on Sunday night. The surgery shaved part of his finger down to the knuckle, in what Johnson has since described as the most painful injury he’s ever endured.
After the surgery, Johnson revealed his middle finger was now the same size as his index finger.
Remarkably, just a couple weeks after the injury, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians revealed Johnson would be back on the field shortly.
After missing a game against the Panthers, Johnson was able to suit up for clashes with the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
Johnson was drafted in the third-round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals out of Alabama. He played seven seasons in Glendale before joining the Tennessee Titans in 2016 for his final year in the league.
Across eight seasons, Johnson played in 114 games and hauled in 15 interceptions, including two against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Three of his career interceptions were returned for touchdowns.
He played in three playoff games in his career, winning in the 2015 NFC Divisional Round to the Green Bay Packers but getting taken down in both 2014 and 2015 by the Carolina Panthers.
Throughout his career, Johnson intercepted the Falcons and Lions four times. Additionally, he secured picks against the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams and Washington Redskins.
Johnson’s career will never leave a legacy even close to the one current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady crafted with during his tenure with the Patriots. While Johnson didn’t lead his squad to Super Bowl appearances or deep playoff runs against the likes of the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, he did manage to showcase himself as one of the toughest dudes in football based on how he handled his horror finger injury.