By Evan Bleier / November 19, 2018

Alex Smith’s Gruesome Leg Injury Evokes Memories of Joe Theismann (Graphic Warning)

Smith broke his right fibula and tibia 33 years ago to the day Theismann's career was ended.

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) reacts to an injury in the third quarter during a game between the Washington Redskins  and the Houston Texans at FedEX Field on November 18, 2018, in Landover, MD. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) reacts to an injury in the third quarter during a game between the Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans at FedEX Field on November 18, 2018, in Landover, MD. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Thirty-three years ago to the day ex-Washington quarterback Joe Theismann’s career was ended by a gruesome leg injury, current Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffered a broken right fibula and tibia during a game.

As if that coincidence wasn’t bizarre enough, Theismann was at FedEx Field on Sunday watching Smith play and saw the injury take place. Smith was immediately taken to the hospital for surgery and it’s unclear at this point what the 34-year-old’s football future will be.

“I saw a pile of people go down, and then I saw Alex’s leg in the position it was in. And I turned away after that. It brought back vivid memories,” said Theismann told The Associated Press. 

“This date has always been a day in my life that I’ll never forget. My immediate thought was that my heart went out to him. I feel so bad for him. I know the road ahead. We’re somewhat similar in age (when the injuries happened). He’s not 25 or 26 years of age. I was 35; he’s 34. How long will it take to come back? What is the severity?”

Colt McCoy replaced Smith and helped Washington score a pair of touchdowns despite it being the first time he had thrown passes in a regular-season game since 2015.

Washington ended up losing the game as kicker Dustin Hopkins’s 63-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds fell well short of the goal posts.

Houston won 23-21, the same final score as Theismann’s last game, against the Giants, 33 years ago.

Washington (6-4) plays at Dallas (5-5) on Thanksgiving Day. The winner will end the day in first place in the NFC East.

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