The ring finger on Bradley Chubb’s left hand looked like it was trying to take a bow.
The star N.C. State defensive end got it caught in the jersey of Pittsburgh offensive tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith’s jersey at 5:06 in the third quarter of N.C. State’s 35-17 win on Saturday.
Chubb was lying on the turf at Heinz Field when he noticed the unusual direction his finger was bent and was startled by it.
“I went to wipe my face, and I just saw it,” Chubb said. “I was like, ‘Oh’ and I freaked out.”
Chubb remained on the field for a few minutes while the training staff attended to the injury. He rolled around a few times, writhing in pain but more scared of the looks of the injury.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Chubb said. “That’s why I was acting like that. It didn’t hurt as bad but looking at it, it was pretty bad.”
It turned out Chubb dislocated the finger, which was a relief to have the Wolfpack’s best defensive player avoid serious injury. Chubb leads all “Power 5” conference teams in tackles for loss (14) and sacks (6.5).
N.C. State coach Dave Doeren was even able to joke about the injury after the win.
“It was a little theatrical,” Doeren said of Chubb’s reaction.
Doeren said he joked with Chubb when he got over the Wolfpack sideline after the initial injury.
“I said one of (your fingers) is hurt, nine others are OK,” Doeren said. “We’ll tape it up and you’ll be all right. He just started laughing. He was good.”
Chubb came back in on the next series and actually broke up a third-down pass attempt by Pitt quarterback Kenny Picket to running back Darrin Hall on his first play back on the field.
After the game, Chubb said his finger felt fine. With a week off before a trip to Notre Dame on Oct. 28, Chubb has some extra time to heal.