Don’t watch the replay if you’re squeamish.
Washington quarterback Alex Smith broke the fibula and tibia in his right leg in a 23-21 defeat to the visiting Houston Texans on Sunday. The injury stood out as especially grotesque, even by the NFL’s standards.
The Texans’ J.J. Watt and Kareem Jackson sacked Smith in the third quarter, causing both bones in his lower leg to “snap like a dry tree branch” as he went down with his leg bent and “ankle flopping limply,” The Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell wrote.
Smith, 34, underwent surgery at a nearby hospital, ESPN reported.
One man in particular at FedEx Field may have felt Smith’s pain. Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann also shattered his fibula and tibia in a stomach-churning injury 33 years to the day earlier against the New York Giants.
“It was just an eerie moment,” Theismann told ESPN. “It was surreal. You see him go down in a pile and then there’s a shot that showed his leg bent and I turned away right after that. I feel so bad for him.”
Watt, who was in on the tackle that felled Smith, tweeted his sympathies: