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."
|Kovac feels for axed United boss Mourinho|
|Rabiot, we do not need you – PSG fans respond to wantaway midfielder|
|Guardiola hails assured debut from Man City youngster Garcia|
|He´s very happy at Tottenham – Arsenal boss Emery wants Pochettino to reject Manchester United|
|Rams sign RB C.J. Anderson|
|Good luck with the Red Devils - Norway PM´s message for Solskjaer|
|Pogba was ´dancing on the grave´ of Mourinho - Neville|
|Solskjaer set to replace Mourinho after Man United gaffe|
|City signing Steffen up to Guardiola´s goalkeeper demands, says Berhalter|
|Mourinho is so strong - Guardiola backing for fallen rival|
|Mourinho? Ausilio dismisses Inter return after United sacking|
|Whyte needs to raise his game to beat Chisora again - Haye|
|Brussino leads late Tenerife rally as Venezia down Holon|
|Orleans 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Super sub Diaby sends holders through|
|Leicester City 1 Manchester City 1 (1-3 on penalties): Muric stands tall in poor shoot-out|
|Middlesbrough 0 Burton Albion 1: League One side reach semi-finals|
|Bologna 0 AC Milan 0: Bakayoko sent off as Inzaghi claims point against former side|
|Fortuna Dusseldorf 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Bundesliga leaders suffer shock first loss|
|Rivera yet to make a call on sitting Panthers QB Newton|
|Pulisic would thrive in Premier League, but Berhalter expects Dortmund stay|
|Raptors coach Nurse fined by NBA for criticising referees|
|Solari ´loves´ struggling Real Madrid star Isco|
|Mourinho sacked: Pogba, Lukaku, Fred and his other Man United signings rated|
|Mourinho sacked: What does it mean for Manchester United players?|
|Ibrahimovic provides short-term pain, long-term gain for US - Berhalter|
|River Plate 2 Al Ain 2 (aet, 4-5 on penalties): Perez misses decisive spot kick|
|De Bruyne and Aguero back for City, surprise debut for Garcia|
|Uncapped Varun ´panicked a little´ after huge IPL deal|
|Replays scrapped for FA Cup fifth round|
|Pochettino readies big guns for Gunners|
|Ex-Wasps star Wade struggling with NFL transition|
|BCCI rejects ´baseless´ claims over Kohli-Paine ´banter´|
|Ibrahimovic re-signs with LA Galaxy for 2019|
|Mourinho sacked: Solari not worried for Real Madrid job|
|Mourinho sacked: 895 days and more than £700,000 in five-star luxury|
|ES Tunis 1 Guadalajara 1 (6-5 on penalties): Dhaouadi holds nerve to settle ill-tempered affair|
|Murphy lands permanent Tigers role|
|Mourinho sacked: Real Madrid´s Marcelo lauds ´great coach´ after United exit|
|Unadkat, Varun the top buys at IPL auction|
|Emery prepared to give youth a chance in north London derby|
|Tottenham extend Vertonghen contract until 2020|
|Panthers safety Reid receives seventh random drug test of 2018|
|Kovac relishing Klopp challenge in Champions League|
|Bancroft to return, teenager Lamichhane to fly the flag for Nepal in Big Bash|
|Liverpool still have plenty of work to do - Klopp|
|Messi ´never imagined´ his success after winning record fifth Golden Shoe|
|WATCH: Timberwolves´ Gibson tries to block shot with his trainer|
|Mourinho sacked: Klopp praises departed Manchester United boss|
|Mourinho sacked: Jose the best Manchester United manager since Ferguson - Gerrard|
|Mourinho sacked: Ferdinand calls for ´fresh ideas´ at Man United|
|Mourinho sacked: The mystique has gone as United spell ends in divorce|
|´He´s an interest not only for us but for many´ - Zola praises rumoured Chelsea target Wilson|
|Mourinho sacked: Pochettino focused on Spurs amid Manchester United rumours|
|Mendis eyes double-century for departing Samaraweera|
|Mourinho sacked: Zola expects Jose to be in another job ´soon´|
|Mourinho sacked: Five reasons it went wrong at Manchester United|
|Mourinho sacked: Jose´s Manchester United record in Opta stats|
|Mourinho sacked: Pogba, Ronaldo and Jose´s biggest bust-ups|
|Mourinho sacked: Blanc, Solskjaer - the men who could steady the United ship short-term|
|Mourinho sacked: The football world reacts|
|Mourinho sacked: What former United stars said after Liverpool loss|
|Mourinho sacked: Where next for the axed Manchester United boss?|
|UEFA to investigate alleged racist incidents at Vidi-Chelsea|
|Australia unchanged for rest of India series|
|Mourinho sacked: Pogba´s tweet a dig at departing Man United boss?|
|Newton left frustrated by shoulder injury as Panthers lose again|
|Mourinho sacked: Pochettino & Zidane lead potential Man Utd replacements|
|Mourinho sacked: Neville urges Man United to go for Pochettino|
|Boylen pleased to see Bulls react to red rag in Thunder fracas|
|Icardi and Inter ´very far´ apart in contract negotiations|