Sports Outside the Beltway

Terrell Owens Breaks Finger, Out 2-4 Weeks

T.O. broke his finger at the beginning of last night’s game between the Cowboys and Redskins but did not tell anyone until the game was almost over.

Terrell Owens will miss from two to four weeks after breaking a finger Sunday night in the Dallas Cowboys’ 27-10 victory over Washington.

The controversial wide receiver broke his right ring finger and will need surgery; he said it’d be Monday, but the team said it also could be Tuesday. The Cowboys have a bye next week.

Terrell Owens Breaks Finger Photo Owens said he was hurt on the first or second play of the game, but didn’t tell anybody until the fourth quarter. He said it was a “fluke thing” and occurred when he was blocking. “I think my hand got caught on a guy’s jersey or something. I kind of felt something weird with it,” Owens said. “I just kind of felt like I jammed it. I kept playing.”

Owens, who missed much of training camp and the preseason because of a hamstring injury after signing a three-year, $25 million deal that includes a $5 million bonus and a $5 million salary in 2006, struggled against the Redskins. Owens flubbed a pass in the end zone on the opening drive – the first of three drops. By game’s end, he was getting his hand X-rayed, his stats sealed at three catches for 19 yards.

While Owens wasn’t sure when he got hurt, he drew a personal foul penalty on the Cowboys’ first offensive snap of the game for an illegal block. On the dropped touchdown, Owens said he was trying to gather in the ball when cornerback Mike Rumph knocked the ball away. “I didn’t really have my full strength in my hand, so I think that probably may have contributed with him punching it out,” Owens said.

It just might. It’s hard enough to catch a ball when someone is mugging you without a broken hand.

It’s football. Players are in pain all the time and I’m sure T.O. didn’t realize his finger was actually broken. Even jams are excrutiatingly painful.

Years ago, I remember a then-recently-retired Lynn Swann being interviewed and saying that if you want to know if you’re ready for the NFL, have someone throw you the ball. And have someone else ready to whack you with a baseball bat while you’re trying to catch it. That’s probably not much of an exaggeration.

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