The injury happened in the second quarter, on a punt return by New Orleans' Darren Sproles. The video of the play doesn't conclusively show what might have happened, however, even though there were two replays that show Johnson (wearing No. 26 for the Cardinals) coming in and trying to make the tackle.
Johnson gets hit by a blocker and disengages. Sproles splits two Arizona defenders and then Johnson comes in trying to make the tackle.
Johnson gets his right arm around Sproles, and Sproles breaks free. So it's unclear how his left middle finger sustained such a traumatic injury, but you can see him double over when he's on the turf after he missed the tackle on Sproles. Then at the end of the normal television feed of the play you can see Johnson coming off the field with his right hand in the air, seemingly motioning to the trainers that something is wrong.
It was truly a freak injury.
"I'm not even sure how it happened," Johnson said, according to the Arizona Republic. "If I had to take a guess, I would say maybe it dug into the turf there and snapped back and broke it that way. My glove was torn or ripped, which makes me think it didn't get caught in a facemask or a cleat stepped on it."
Johnson said his middle finger, which had to be shaved down to the first knuckle during surgery, is now about as long as his index finger.
"It was pretty shocking to see it that way," Johnson told the Arizona Republic. "But this type of stuff happens. Guys end up with bad biceps, bad shoulders, bad fingers. I mean, it's just a part of the game fans don't get an opportunity to see."
Johnson is considered day-to-day, and might play next Sunday.
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- Darren Sproles
- Rashad Johnson