Theismann On Alex Smith: "I Didn't Sleep Well"

Smith's gruesome injury took Joe Theismann back to 1985 – and the similarities between the injuries are eerie

Tiki and Tierney
November 19, 2018 - 6:56 pm

USA Today Images


Alex Smith broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg in a loss to the Texans on Sunday – an injury eerily similar to the one Joe Theismann suffered in 1985.

In fact, Smith’s injury occurred 33 years to the day after Theismann’s. Even weirder? The final score in both games was 23-21. Granted, Washington won in 1985, but Smith’s injury took Theismann back to 1985.

“It did. Shock was the first thing I felt,” Theismann said on Tiki and Tierney. “I saw the pile of people, and they had a shot of his leg. I looked at my wife, and I turned to her and said, ‘It’s exactly like what happened to me.’ I turned away from the field. I turned away. I walked away. Every emotion that I felt that night – the smells, the sounds, the people around me – they all became very vivid in my mind again.”

Those emotions didn’t come and go, either. They remained.

“I didn’t sleep well last night,” Theismann said. “I was thinking of Alex and what he’s going to go through. The coincidences are crazy. This was, I think, his 166th game. I believe mine was 167. I have a nephew, who’s 33 years old. His name is Alex Smith. It’s basically the same part of the field – around the 40-yard line. Every time I turn around, someone brings up another fact about my evening and Alex’s day (Sunday).”

Theismann’s injury ended his career. It remains to be seen how Smith, who signed a four-year $94 million deal with Washington in March, will bounce back from this.

“Knowing the type of person Alex is, he’s going to definitely give it everything he’s got to come back,” Theismann said. “Will he be the same player? Who knows? It’s a long process. We sort of have to wait and see how the goes forward, but I do know one thing: my heart goes out to him, and he will dedicate himself to be back and prepared for training camp next year.”