It might seem tough for an NFL receiver to play with a broken finger, what with passes being fired his direction at high speeds and him needing to, you know, catch them and all.
But Derrick Mason, who has now broken his right pinky finger twice in the span of a handful of weeks, says it actually isn't that difficult to play through the pain, and he plans on toughing it out again this Sunday against the Panthers.
"It's not tough. It's like riding a bike," Mason said. "Once you've been doing it, you don't forget how. When you're in a game, your adrenaline is going, so you don't feel it. I don't feel it. I just go out there and I play. Unless somebody really takes a shot at it, then I kind of feel it then. But after a while the pain kind of subsides, and I continue on with the play."
Head coach John Harbaugh said that there are some times when he'll decide to sit a player even if he says that he can fight through an injury and play, but given Mason's specific injury and the fact that he's proven he can play through it, he is fine with letting his veteran wide receiver suit up against Carolina.
"Believe me, there are some things out there that hurt so much that a guy just can't perform through it," Harbaugh said. "Other times, they can. We do have some guys - like Derrick Mason - that because [if] a guy has played so many games for so many years, you've got to assume he's got a pretty good pain threshold. And, Derrick caught the ball well. So, he looks fine."
Mason had surgery during the Ravens' bye week to put a pin in the broken finger, but he re-broke it making a touchdown reception against the Falcons last Thursday.
He had a procedure on the pinky done over the weekend, but was back practicing with the team today.
That's nothing new to Mason, who says he's grown accustomed to playing injured throughout the course of his career.
"I don't think I've ever allowed an injury to hold me out of a game," Mason said. "I had one knee injury early on in my career, and I think I missed a game; had surgery. Luckily, we had a bye week, so I ended up [only] missing one game. But that's the way I was brought up. You play through pain. Whatever it may be, you play through it. If you can go out there, run and catch the ball, then do it.
"Right now, I believe I feel better than I've ever felt before at this stage of a season, especially the last three years. If I've got to play through an injury, so be it, because right now these last seven games are big. And if you can play, you need to play and put aside your aches and pains."