Alex Smith – A Destined Injury?

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Alex Smith – A Destined Injury?

By: Ryan Guilbeau '20 and Keegan Kerr '20

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Week 11 in the NFL showcased exciting matchups, highlight plays, and unfortunately, one season-ending injury. In the third quarter of a home game, Redskins Quarterback Alex Smith was sacked by Houston All-Pro Defensive Lineman JJ Watt and Safety Kareem Jackson. As Smith was being tackled, his right leg bent unnaturally below his right knee. Instant replay showed the gruesome injury in front of a nationwide audience. The CBS broadcasters were astonished and viewers across the country were left with a disturbing image of a Smith’s right leg burned into their memory. Players on the field prayed while fans in attendance fell into a deafening silence.

As for Smith, his leg was placed in an air cast and he was quickly carted off the field by the team’s medical staff. He acknowledged the crowd with raised, clasped hands, but soon returned his hands to his face before the cart entered the tunnel.

For Redskins fans this scenario is all too familiar. 33 years ago to the day of Smith’s injury, they saw their star quarterback Joe Theismann suffer an equally horrific and eerily similar break to his lower leg. Joe Theismann never played another snap in the NFL. Scarier yet, Theismann was in attendance at the game Sunday and witnessed the play live. Soon after Smith left the game Theismann tweeted what many were thinking, “Alex’s leg is exactly like mine 33 yrs ago”. But that’s not all. The final score of the game was 23-21. The final score of the game that Joe Theismann got injured was also 23-21. Furthermore, they both went down at the 40 yard line, and both were home games. Queue the Twilight zone music.

JJ Watt, the defender credited with the sack on the play, tweeted out his support for Smith: “Thoughts are with Alex. Absolutely gutted about it. Never want to see that for anyone ever. Wishing you all the best brother”. Watt is a highly respected player and considered to be one of the league’s best ambassadors. The tackle was in no way dirty; Smith’s leg just got caught in an odd position.

Alex Smith went immediately into surgery at a local hospital. After the game the team confirmed that Smith broke his right fibula and tibula. It is unclear at the moment whether he will ever play again in the NFL.

Sources:  

https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/49ers/former-49er-alex-smith-suffers-eerily-similar-injury-joe-theismann

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25312926/redskins-qb-alex-smith-breaks-two-bones-leg-texans

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/18/sports/alex-smith-injury-joe-theismann.html