NFL Legend Joe Theismann Shares New Information on League’s Most Infamous Injury

Injuries are a part of every NFL player’s life no matter how hard they try to avoid them. Less severe injuries might only lead to a few weeks off, while others are season-ending — even career-ending in the most serious cases.

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Longtime NFL and then-Washington Redskins legend Joe Theismann experienced what became one of the most infamous injuries the sport has ever seen. During a Monday Night Football game on Nov. 18, 1985, Theismann suffered a comminuted compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in his right leg after being tackled by legendary New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.

The result of the tackle would be the end of his career. Now, Theismann has revealed new information about the injury nearly 40 years later. Theismann was speaking to Kids Sports Reporters in an exclusive interview when he was asked a question he had not yet been asked by host Huddy.

Huddy asks Theismann, “When you got injured, were you scared?”

Theismann responds with, “Do you know what, that is the first time that anyone’s ever asked me that question. That’s a great question. Yes … scared maybe isn’t the word, there’s uncertainty around it. You just don’t know what the future is going to hold.”

Theismann did not know at the time what his future was, but the result of his injury and recovery led to his retirement at age 36. According to an article in the New York Times, the fractured tibia and fibula in his right leg led to insufficient bone growth during the recovery process. Theismann’s right leg would then end up being shorter than his left leg, resulting in his stepping away from football.

NFL legend Joe Theismann
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 30: Quarterback Joe Theismann #7 of the Washington Redskins turns to handoff to a running back against the Miami Dolphins during Super Bowl XVII on January 30, 1983 at the Rose…

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Theismann revealed to the Kids Sports Reporters that he had broken his leg previously, when he played in the CFL, but bounced back from that. The injury he suffered in that fateful Monday Night Football game led to far more problems along his road to recovery.

In an excerpt from Taylor’s book, “My Giant Life,” the Giants linebacker revealed the relationship the pair shared with one another following the injury.

“To Joe’s credit, he never blamed me for what happened. We’ve never had a problem. I’ve never had a problem with Joe. And every time we see each other, we talk. We talked before then, we still talk, and there is no animosity there. I know his son very well. Hey, I did [Theismann] a favor. He had Lloyd’s of London [insurance]. He made about $3 million,” Taylor stated.

It’s interesting that no one has ever asked Theismann if he was fearful after the injury occurred. Though it’s still arguably the most gruesome injury the NFL has ever seen, the NFL legend can still discover new feelings about nearly 40 years later.