A Virgina Tech football player gave new meaning to the saying “leave it all on the field.”
Greg Nosal’s coaches and trainers thought he may literally have left something on the field Saturday during his team's game against Central Michigan -- a part of his finger.
Nosal, who plays left guard for the Hokies, had part of his left pinkie finger torn off. As if he hadn’t proved his tough-guy status enough, he postponed the reattachment of the tip of the finger so he could keep playing.
Apparently Nosal had missed a block and, when he saw his quarterback scrambling, “went to crack back on the defensive end,” he said Monday. That is when his pinkie finger got caught in the other player’s facemask. Nosal said he thought it was just “a really bad cut.”
Throughout the rest of the series Nosal squeezed his hand trying to apply pressure to the wound. That is when he saw his glove was covered in blood.
After the plays were over, Nosal said he took his glove off and saw the exposed bone of his finger. He then “immediately ran over to (trainer Mike) Goforth.” He asked him to tape his injury when Goforth rushed him into the locker room.
When Goforth asked Nosal where the injury took place, Nosal did not understand why. It wasn’t until he was laying down in the X-ray room that Nosal’s coaches and trainers told him they suspected part of his finger was still on the field.
When they could not find the severed tip on the field, Nosal suggested they look in his glove, where they bloodied piece of his finger was found.
After examining the finger, team surgeon Marc Seigel determined the tip could be reattached. That’s when Nosal made a daring decision: he would go back in the game while his fingertip lay on ice.
The 6-foot-9, 293-pound redshirt junior joined his team in the second half and played into the fourth quarter -- with the help of painkillers.
Once the Hokies had a comfortable lead at 31-7 and were utilizing their substitutes, Nosal left the field and had his fingertip sewn back on.
Nosal’s coach, Frank Beamer praised his player’s vigor. “You talk about a tough guy,” he said Monday. “For him to continue to play, it says a lot about him and what his effort for this football team is."
Nosal’s dedication paid off. The Hokies won 45-21. As for the other headline-worthy event of the day, he had this to say: “I guess it’s a big deal if your pinkie got ripped off.”
Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington