clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alex Smith’s season-ending broken leg took place 33 years to the day after Joe Theismann’s career-ending leg injury

Smith’s career isn’t over yet, but this is insane.

Remember, remember the 18th of November.

That’s what Washington fans will be muttering for the next few decades now that starting quarterback Alex Smith has been for the ruled out for the rest of the season after an ugly broken leg, suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans defense. The injury includes multiple bone fractures. It alone is gruesome, but there’s a bit more eerie familiarity with all of this.

On the 18th of November in 1985 (33 years to the date of Smith’s injury), Joe Theismann was tackled by Lawrence Taylor, suffering the exact same injury. You may remember seeing this play during the opening to the movie The Blind Side or you may remember seeing it live. Either way, the injury ended Theismann’s career. To add more to just how strange this is, the final score of that game was 23-21. The same score that ended the game today.

It’s too soon to say if Alex Smith has played his last down of football. 33 years is a long time for medical technology and given the time frame, perhaps things have advanced where he can return next year. Long ago, ACL injuries ended careers and now we have advanced to where players can return to the field.

Theismann himself was at the stadium when it happened and instantly felt for Smith, having been through the same injury exactly 33 years ago. He also made a good point in a Washington Post article:

“You’re not 26, 27 years old. Alex is going to be what, 34 this year? I was hurt at the age of 35.”

If anyone is a Washington quarterback scheduled under center on the 18th of November in a few years, maybe putting yourself on the injured list for a day isn’t a bad idea. So far one career has ended and the other is up in the air with gruesome injuries. Any Washington QBs want to try their luck when the 18th falls on a Sunday or Monday?

This doesn’t have anything to do with the San Francisco 49ers, but Niners Nation remains a big Alex Smith house. He held what was a chaotic and tumultuous 49ers team together in some of the worst years ever—and took the blame for it as well. He was blessed with Jim Harbaugh and good coaching for a brief enough moment to remove the ‘bust’ label from his resume, before getting shipped off to the Kansas City Chiefs when the 49ers decided Colin Kaepernick could be their quarterback of the future.

The injury is awful and we all hope it’s not career ending. Alex Smith is a much better quarterback than given credit for, for his professionalism, cerebral mindset, and toughness.

Meanwhile, Washington is going to bring in quarterbacks to back up Colt McCoy. All of these names aren’t exactly inspiring. There’s one quarterback that comes to mind they could look at, but it’s not on this list.