Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann was at FedEx Field on Sunday when current Washington quarterback Alex Smith broke his right fibula and tibia. Theismann already had his career-ending injury on his mind before Smith’s injury as it happened 33 years ago to the day.
“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,” Theismann said, via The Associated Press.
Theismann tweeted the comparison between his and Smith’s injuries.
Both happened on Nov. 18. Both happened at the 40-yard line. Romeo Crennel was an assistant coach on the opposing sideline of both games. Washington won the 1985 game 23-21; Houston won Sunday’s game 23-21. Theismann finished his season with 301 attempts; Smith entered Sunday’s game with 301 attempts and finished his season with 328.
“This date has always been a day in my life that I’ll never forget,” Theismann said. “. . .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?
“I worry less about Alex and his football career than I do Alex and wanting to be able to do the things in life he wants to do.”
Theismann never played again after Lawrence Taylor’s hit fractured his right tibia and fibula. He hopes Smith’s career continues, wishing the quarterback well.