Lions defensive end Willie Young smashed the middle finger of his left hand so badly while making a tackle three weeks ago against the Packers that he talked to doctors about amputating it.
“Two weeks ago I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s get rid of it,'” Young told the Detroit News. “But it’s a little better now, so maybe I will keep it.”
Young was wearing the glove when the injury happened, and he could feel that something was seriously wrong with his finger. But he said he didn’t want to see how bad it looked, and he didn’t want to come out of the game, so he just kept the glove on and kept playing. When the game was over and he took the glove off, there was a cut at his top knuckle so deep that it went down to the bone. He also has nerve damage, and the only treatment has been soaking it in disinfectant.
Young hasn’t missed a game or even a practice even though the finger is still killing him.
“I just tape it up and eat the pain,” he said. “On a scale of one to ten, [the pain is a] 9.9999.”
Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham told Young the story of Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott cutting off a part of his pinkie finger so that he could get back on the field more quickly.
“He’s got the ugliest finger I ever saw,” Cunningham said of Young. “I told him that Ronnie Lott cut his off, so cut it off.”
It appears that Young won’t have to resort to that.