There’s a saying that there is a difference between being hurt and being injured in the NFL. If you’re hurt, you can play. If you’re injured, you can’t.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson was injured last year and tried to show he could play anyway.
According to the team’s website, Richardson played in seven games for Washington last season despite a fractured clavicle that occurred during training camp last August and worsened as the year progresses.
“I was like, man something’s not right,” he said. “I got all this adrenaline after practice and it was just sore. I was in rehab every day, it was just sore. There was no sense of urgency or need to investigate further because I said I was fine. I was being more competitive than smart.”
Richardson has been injured before. He’s lost seasons to ACL tears in college and with the Seattle Seahawks. He’s also been hurt, playing through a dislocated finger that punctured through the skin with Seattle and catching the game-winning touchdown in that same game.
Richardson tried to act as though his injury was as significant as it was as he tried to prove himself to his new team after signing a five-year deal with the team last March. That was until the injury became too serious to overlook any longer.
“The end of the bone was stabbing through my skin every day,” Richardson said. “I was having trouble with day-to-day stuff, and it was bigger than me being an athlete. I have a family, I have to be able to do regular stuff around the house every day. If I can’t do that, I’m definitely no use on the field.”
Richardson was finally placed on injured reserve in November after catching 20 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns.