August wasn't the best month for Green Hope (Cary, N.C.) High senior quarterback Chris Tutwiler, but things are looking up in September -- thanks to NFL legend Joe Theismann.
Tutwiler suffered a compound leg fracture -- the same injury that ended Theismann's career in 1985 -- in a preseason scrimmage against Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.) High on Aug. 17. The 6-foot, 165-pound senior was rushed to surgery at a nearby hospital. And a week later, he was readmitted for a third surgery due to an infection in his left leg.
Upon hearing of the young Redskins fan's injury, the man who led Washington to the Super Bowl XVII title in 1982 crafted a handwritten letter to Tutwiler just before his 18th birthday on Sept. 9 -- another commonality between the two quarterbacks (h/t Raleigh News & Observer). Tutwiler shared the letter on his Twitter account.
— Chris Tutwiler (@ChristoferTut) September 7, 2013
"Joe Theismann writing Chris is unbelievable,” Tutwiler's mother, Suzanne, told the News & Observer. “To get a hand-written personal letter is amazing."
Tutwiler completed 211-of-353 attempts for 2,478 yards and 19 touchdowns against just four interceptions as a junior, but his senior season ended before it even started.
Theismann encouraged Tutwiler to keep the faith and not give up on football just yet.
Well, you really took this "being like me" to the extreme.
Not only do we share a great love for the Skins and have the same birthday, you had to go and get the same kind of leg break I did. I'd say that's pretty tough.
Chris, I'm sure that things you are going through seem like a tough mountain to climb, but I'm sure that you will come back even stronger and better than you were.
Sometimes the good Lord closes a door just to open another.
I don't believe that your time playing football is over, just put on hold for a while.
Keep fighting and don't ever give up.
"Your Brother in Broken Legs,"
If Tutwiler's positivity on Twitter is any indication of how he'll approach his recovery, the months after his season-ending injury won't be as bad as August. Here are a few of the Green Hope quarterback's upbeat tweets from the past few weeks.
Playing with a broken leg in road to glory on Xbox. Don't count me out quite yet. pic.twitter.com/VI5LIMGhvN
— Chris Tutwiler (@ChristoferTut) August 21, 2013
@KG100Weights haha I heard about that kid who fainted when you said how my bone came trough my leg hahahaha
— Chris Tutwiler (@ChristoferTut) September 4, 2013
@pmorton27 damn I wish. Not many colleges begging for a quarterback with one leg haha
— Chris Tutwiler (@ChristoferTut) September 10, 2013