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Former 49er Alex Smith suffers eerily similar injury to Joe Theismann

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AP

Former 49er Alex Smith suffers eerily similar injury to Joe Theismann

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?

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.

Joe Staley shows off impressive weight loss since 49ers retirement

Joe Staley shows off impressive weight loss since 49ers retirement

Joe Staley's work ethic never was in question during his decade-plus career as the 49ers' starting left tackle, and it appears that determination has continued into retirement.

Staley told ESPN's Emily Caplan in early July that he already has lost 50 pounds since retiring from the NFL in April, and a picture shared on Twitter by Sports Illustrated's Grant Cohn definitely shows the former offensive lineman's body transformation.

[RELATED: 49ers' Bosa 'not going to blame ref' for Super Bowl no-call]

"As an offensive lineman, you're always known as this big, humongous, unathletic blob," Staley said to ESPN. "Offensive linemen get casted in a movie, and they're always 500 pounds. Then you get the opportunity to be healthy again, and all of the effort you used to put into football, you put into that. It gives you a focus once you retire. It's a little bit vain, but I'm starting to see abs that I've always wanted. And it's kind of exciting."

Offensive lineman often must eat an incredible amount of food to maintain the 300-pound frames typically seen across NFL rosters.

Staley seems to be enjoying his retirement.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Trent Williams expects Jerick McKinnon 'breakout' 2020 season

49ers' Trent Williams expects Jerick McKinnon 'breakout' 2020 season

Trent Willams has seen more of what Jerick McKinnon can do on the football field than just about anyone over the last two years.

And when the 49ers’ new left tackle was asked which teammate he was most eager to watch on the field, McKinnon was at the top of the list.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Jet,” Williams told the Bay Area media on a video call. “After two years, the way he’s looked in the offseason, I just can’t fathom him not being a breakout player.”

The 49ers were expecting so much from McKinnon after they signed him on the first day of free agency in 2018, coach Kyle Shanahan had planned to unveil an offense in the regular season that would focus heavily on the running back’s ability as a route-runner and pass-catcher.

But McKinnon sustained a torn ACL one week before the regular-season opener. When the graft from that surgery did not fill in properly, McKinnon lost a second consecutive season. McKinnon accepted a greatly reduced salary this year to remain with the 49ers.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowl player, saw plenty of McKinnon’s skills during the offseason as he, McKinnon and Deebo Samuel were among those who worked out with star running back Adrian Peterson.

Samuel described those training sessions as the “one of the hardest workouts I’ve been doing since I’ve been playing football.”

McKinnon has been cleared to take part in 49ers practices, which begin Aug. 15. The 49ers’ first padded practice is scheduled for Aug. 17.

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Thrived through the worst of it

A post shared by Jet Mckinnon The Mayor (@jetmckinnon1) on

McKinnon figures to be a big part of the 49ers’ offense as a third-down back. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo recently said he is looking forward to seeing McKinnon take what he’s showing in workouts onto the field during the regular season.

“Even just throwing routes on air this offseason, he runs them differently than most running backs and he has a feel that's like a receiver, but he feels space like a quarterback,” Garoppolo said. “It's very unique and I'm excited to get him back, man. It's been a while.”

[RELATEDBosa says benefits of healthy offseason will show on field]

Williams ticked off other areas of the 49ers that have him excited, too. He spoke about tight end George Kittle and every level of the defense, including the “freakish” defensive line.

“I just want to get this team to a game,” said Williams, whom the 49ers acquired in an April trade with Washington. “It feels like college again, when we had three of the top four picks in the draft. I haven’t had this feeling since then.”

In 2013, Williams was one of three Oklahoma players to be chosen in the top four of the NFL draft. He went No. 4 to Washington, following quarterback Sam Bradford (No. 1 to the St. Louis Rams) and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (No. 3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).