After playing the first seven years of his career in a San Francisco 49ers uniform, Alex Smith still has plenty of fans in the Bay Area. If you're one of them, you've probably already heard the news.
Smith's season for the Washington Redskins -- at the very least -- is over.
Word to the wise: If you're the squeamish type, don't watch the replay. Just ... don't.
In the third quarter of Sunday's eventual defeat to the Houston Texans, Smith was sacked by defensive end J.J. Watt and defensive back Kareem Jackson, causing the quarterback to break both the fibula and tibia in his right leg.
As Smith writhed in pain with his ankle bent at an awkward angle, it was abundantly clear that it would be a season-ending injury. But in the minutes that followed, an eerie observation was made:
We've seen this before.
On Nov. 18, 1985, Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann was sacked by New York Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor on "Monday Night Football," infamously breaking Theismann's fibula and tibia in his right leg. Washington went on to lose that game 23-21, and Theismann never played another down.
Guess what Sunday's date was?
Nov. 18, 2018.
And guess what the final score of the Texans-Redskins game was?
That's right. 23-21.
So, precisely 33 years to the day, Smith suffered an identical injury to the one that forced Theismann into retirement, and the Redskins lost by an identical score. Creepy, huh?
Alex’s leg is exactly like mine 33 yrs ago— Joe Theismann (@Theismann7) November 18, 2018
Theismann was 35 when he suffered his injury. Smith is 34. It's unknown at this time how long his recovery will take, and the degree to which it will affect his ability to play another down in the NFL.
Smith was carted off the field and immediately taken to the hospital to undergo surgery. As Theismann himself suggested, Smith isn't necessarily destined for the same fate that he was.
"If there is a positive aspect," Theismann told ESPN, "it's that so much of medicine has changed."
Here's hoping Smith has a full and speedy recovery.