Joe Theismann described Alex Smith's injury as "heart-wrenching" after watching the Washington Redskins quarterback suffer a double-leg break 33 years to the day of his own career-ending injury.
Smith sustained a broken tibia and fibula on a third-quarter sack in the Redskins' 23-21 defeat to the Houston Texans on Sunday, bringing up painful memories for Washington legend Theismann.
Theismann, who led the Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XVII at the end of the 1982 season, sustained a career-ending compound fracture on November 18, 1985 on a sack by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.
He was in the stands at FedExField as Smith went down in eerily similar circumstances and told NBC Sports Washington afterwards: "It's heart-wrenching, I feel terrible for Alex, I got hurt in the ninth game of the 1985 [season] 33 years ago today.
"If it happened on another day I'd feel terrible as it was but having it happen on this day in this particular period of time, it was horrible.
Alex’s leg is exactly like mine 33 yrs ago— Joe Theismann (@Theismann7) November 18, 2018
I feel so bad for him.— Joe Theismann (@Theismann7) November 18, 2018
"I saw him go down in the pile and I saw everybody start to get frantic about it and then there was one shot where he was lying there and I saw his leg and I turned to my wife and said 'it's the same thing that happened to me'. I was absolutely shocked and stunned. I feel so bad for Alex.
"There's an age factor too when you get hurt at this age, that's the other thing you think about. You think about where this football team is going, we're in the hunt, he's the captain of the ship and we're in the hunt and now all of a sudden, [backup] Colt's [McCoy] in a role to take over."
Speaking in his post-game media conference, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said: "Alex has had a great career, obviously, without a doubt. But when you have an injury like that, it's more heartbreaking than it is physical.
"Just breaks your heart because this is what he loves to do, loves to lead this team, loves to be with the guys, and now the season is over and he has a long way back. It's just hard to watch that happen to any athlete."
McCoy came in for Smith and threw for 54 yards and a touchdown but could not lead the Redskins to victory as they dropped to 6-4 on the season but still in the lead of the NFC East going into their Thanksgiving clash with the Dallas Cowboys.
"I'm a big firm believer in Colt McCoy’s talent," Gruden added. "This is the opportunity of a lifetime for him. I know he would like it in different circumstances."
|Premier League needs VAR, right now! - Benitez fumes over Dean´s decisions|
|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 14|
|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
|India´s tail must show greater application - Bangar|
|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|
|Lyon roars with defiance as Australia aim for unlikely victory|
|Bulls coach Boylen: Hooked starters ´embarrassing´ in record loss|
|Martinez pays tribute to Martino, Almiron after MLS Cup glory|
|LeBron: Final Wade matchup will be bittersweet|
|Alvarez-Kovalev rematch set for February 2|
|Newcastle Jets 2 Brisbane Roar 0: Sheppard, Jair score first A-League goals|
|India close in on victory in first Test|
|LeBron flirts with triple-double as Lakers down Grizzlies|
|Lomachenko unifies WBO, WBA titles with win over Pedraza|
|Joshua wants Wilder and Fury fights – Hearn|
|Mavericks rookie Doncic leads impressive fourth-quarter surge to beat Rockets|
|Martinez named MLS Cup MVP|
|Oklahoma´s Murray wins the Heisman Trophy|
|Atlanta United 2 Portland Timbers 0: Martinez scores again as Martino´s men win MLS Cup|
|Sarri to use Hazard as centre forward again|
|Ballon d´Or is a lie – Alba says Messi is world´s best|
|Messi: I needed some luck with free-kicks|
|Hoffman, Woodland in three-way tie for lead|
|Brook unconvincing in Zerafa victory|
|Leo unties any game - Valverde hails mesmeric Messi|
|Pochettino: Walker-Peters ready for Barcelona challenge|
|Messi showed he is world´s best - Busquets|
|Messi scores two free-kicks in a LaLiga game for first time|
|Chelsea and police look into alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Espanyol 0 Barcelona 4: Magical Messi dazzles in derby demolition|
|Leicester City 0 Tottenham 2: Latest Son stunner buoys Spurs for Barca mission|
|We are here to be champions, not invincibles – City boss Guardiola bullish after first defeat|
|Sarri still writing off Chelsea´s title chances despite City win|
|Salihamidzic: De Jong is on Bayern´s radar|
|Messi makes more LaLiga history with goals record|
|Chelsea humility key to beating Manchester City, says David Luiz|
|Ospreys hammer Stade Francais in Challenge Cup|
|Sancho dedicates Revierderby winner to late grandmother|
|Reading 0 Sheffield United 2: Late goals boost Blades|
|Exeter remain winless in Champions Cup after Gloucester defeat|
|Emery urges in-form Arsenal not to be distracted|
|Chelsea 2 Manchester City 0: Kante and David Luiz hand champions first defeat|
|Kimmich: I have never experienced anything like this season|
|Milivojevic laments ´unacceptable´ Crystal Palace collapse|
|He wants to be like Aubameyang and Lacazette! - Xhaka hails match-winner Torreira|
|Mourinho challenges Pogba to improve mentality|
|Injured Odell Beckham Jr. to miss Redskins match|
|The wolves ate the lambs - Ranieri accepts Man Utd mauling|