That’s how Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura felt last Sunday in the Ravens 37-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams after suffering a knee injury on a punt return with 0:27 seconds left in the first quarter.
“Usually if I can, I’m going to walk off the field on my own power,” he told Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Thursday. “That’s just how I’ve always been. I hate getting carried off the field.”
“It was one of those things, and when I was out there on my hands and knees and I couldn’t catch my breath-it was something I had never felt before.”
And what’s worse was he felt it was a low blow for a team getting blown out by the end of the first quarter.
“We were rushing the punter and we were 30 or 40 yards off the ball,” Nakamura told Clark. “Some guy came up from behind me and pushed me dead in the back.”
“He slammed me on the turf, so basically it was a cheap shot that’s going to put me out for a couple weeks,” Nakamura said.
Nakamura injured his PCL ligament in his right knee on the play, and the Ravens coaching staff initially feared that the safety would miss a considerable amount of time-maybe even the whole season-with a torn knee.
Luckily for John Harbaugh and the Ravens, an MRI only showed a sprain to the ligament and Nakamura told Clark that he could return after the bye week three Sundays from now against the Houston Texans.
“I think I’m the only lucky guy whose ever sprained it,” Nakamura laughed. “You never really hear about that injury, but it’s kind of weird that it happened to me.
Nakamura was just glad to hear that he could return to the football field in a matter of weeks as opposed to a year.
“Initially the doctors told me it was torn,” he said. “You can imagine what went through my head when I heard that…but [this] is easy to come back from.”
What makes it even worse for Nakamura is that he’s going to miss one of the biggest games of the year against his former coach in Rex Ryan and the Jets.
He’s already experienced that frustration this week at Owings Mills being in the training room all day while his teammates are out at practice.
“I’ve just been rehabbing very hard…actually I’ve been kind of bored…”, Nakamura admitted.
Still, he knows what Rex is going to bring to the table defensively Sunday night, and he knows that his other teammates share those similar expectations.
“You can almost call their plays,” Nakamura said. “The thing with Rex is it’s all about timing. Him and Mike Pettine have great timing when to call pressures and when to hold back.”
Nakamura put on his coaching hat and said that in order to beat the Jets and shut Rex Ryan up, you have to hit them in the mouth on both sides of the ball.
“We don’t back down from anything. We’re going to go right at them. That’s always been our approach and we’re not going to let them dictate our gameplan.”
His last regret?
Not being able to hit former Raven WR Derrick Mason going over the middle.
“It’s like hitting your brother. It’s all part of the game, ” Nakamura replied. “Obviously we’re not going to take it easy on Mase just cause he was here. It’s going to be a fun game.”
WNST thanks Haruki Nakamura for joining Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” If you missed the interview, check it out at the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault and be sure to tune in Sunday at 6PM for your “Nasty Purple Pre-Game Show” leading up to kickoff!