Wednesday Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce revealed that two weeks ago when the Raiders faced the Detroit Lions, Robert Spillane broke his hand. The middle linebacker then taped it up and played the rest of the game. He didn’t miss a snap.
The day after the game, Spillane had surgery on his broken hand, missed all of one practice, and then played every snap again in their big win over the Giants last Sunday.
Needless to say, Pierce — a former NFL middle linebacker himself — could not be more impressed with this.
“Lunchpail. Hard hat,” Pierce said of Spillane.
“That’s the mentality you want. You got your super stars, you got the guys that get all the credit and you got guys like this; the lunchpail guys. That just come to work every day. And does it with a smile. He’s been like that since day one. I remember the first time we talked over the phone. When we signed him, his energy, I could feel his fire in his belly of being an undrafted guy, getting cut from one team, not getting the opportunity he thought he was going to get at certain places, and he brought that here. And the first thing he did when he got here was he get with Maxx Crosby and he tried to match his energy and it didn’t work out, but what he’s done for us is the mental part. Really good for Patrick Graham, our linebacker corps and our defense because he does a lot of things pre-and-post-snap that helps us.”
Spillane didn’t just play, he made plays. And he led the Raiders with nine combined tackles against the Giants. Just unreal toughness for the veteran linebacker.