Exactly 33 years to the day after Theismann's gruesome injury during a nationally televised game, Smith went down with breaks to his right fibula and tibia midway through the third quarter of Washington's 23-21 loss to the visiting Houston Texans on Sunday and was replaced at QB by backup Colt McCoy. In a tweet, the team described it as an ankle injury and that Smith would not return.
The Vikings saw former starter Case Keenum move to the Denver Broncos, the rival of the Chiefs, who were ready to jettison Smith after drafting Patrick Mahomes in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
It will be a long road to recovery for Smith, but it's good to see guys like JJ Watt reaching out in times like this.
Smith waved to the crowd as he was carted to the locker room.
Smith signed a four-year, $94-million contract when he was traded to the Redskins in January.
McCoy, who has not started since Week 15 of the 2014 season, finished 6-of-12 passing for 54 yards and a touchdown as well as 35 rushing yards on five carries, but the Redskins' comeback attempt ended when Dustin Hopkins' 63-yard field goal attempt came up a few yards short.
Now Gruden will have a short week to help McCoy make his first National Football League start since 2014: Washington (6-4) plays at Dallas (5-5) on U.S. Thanksgiving Day with first place in the NFC East on the line.
"I know it was very painful for [Smith] and heartbreaking for a lot of people", Gruden said after the game.