Alex Smith, like Joe Theismann before him, could see career end on terrible leg injury

Yahoo Sports

The parallels between the injuries to Washington Redskins quarterbacks Joe Theismann and Alex Smith were strange. The injuries happened on the same day, 33 years apart. Theismann was in attendance for Smith’s injury. The final score of both games was 23-21.

Another scary possible connection: Theismann’s injury ended his career, and a report said the same could happen to Smith.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Theismann never played again after Lawrence Taylor’s sack in 1985 broke his leg. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said there’s optimism about Smith’s return to the playing field, which also means there’s a serious question about whether he’ll make it back.

Alex Smith suffered a massive injury

Smith broke his tibia and fibula, and suffered a compound fracture on a sack against the Houston Texans. The injury was so bad, CBS refused to show any more replays after it played once during the game broadcast.

Smith, like Theismann at the time of his injury, is in his mid-30s. He’ll turn 35 before next season. Smith is in great shape, and that’s going to help him. But, as Schefter wrote, his return to football is “not a certainty.” 

Theismann retired in July of 1986 after he failed to pass a physical.

Smith’s contract puts Redskins in a tough spot

The Redskins put a six to eight month timetable on Smith’s recovery. There was no ligament damage, which helps.

It’s a tough spot for the Redskins, too. Smith was in the first year of a contract that reportedly gave him $71 million guaranteed, according to Spotrac. Washington can’t just get out of the deal right away.

It’ll be a nervous offseason for Washington and Smith. Nobody wants to see Smith’s career end that way, but he faces a long road back.

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, bottom, slides under Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph (24) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, bottom, slides under Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph (24) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Subscribe to The Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast
Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Podcasts

What to Read Next