Joe Theismann has advice and support for Titans WR Marc Mariani

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Mariani might not want to watch a replay of his injury. (AP)

If anybody knows how Titans receiver Marc Mariani, who suffered a compound fracture of his left leg Thursday vs. the Cardinals, is feeling -- physically and mentally -- it'd be Joe Theismann.

As you probably know, the former standout Redskins quarterback suffered the same kind of injury that was replayed over and over again on "Monday Night Football" after he was tackled by Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor during the 1985 season.

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The hit led to the end of Theismann's career and is probably the most famous injury that makes our stomach turn in NFL history. Mariani suffered the same kind of gruesome injury when he was returning a punt in the first quarter, and Theismann has some advice for Mariani.

Don't watch the replay.

“I didn't care to see it, and when I finally looked at it after all those years, I got a little nauseous, a little squeamish,” Theismann said, via the Tennessean. “I saw it once and I said, ‘That's it; I don't need to see it again.' But you look at it on YouTube and it's had over 2.5 million hits. … People are fascinated by stuff like that.

“It's not easy if you're the player. The emotional thing is the toughest. But (Mariani) is a young guy, and he will be back. It is a process, and the rehabilitation is tough, there's no denying it. The good news is he got hurt early this year, and at a young age. And he knows the level he can get to because he's been a Pro Bowler. He'll be back.”

One big difference between the two is that Mariani is 10 years younger than Theismann was at the time of his injury. That's obviously a positive. And after surgery on his leg, doctors think Mariani's career can continue on as before.

“Typically after a surgery, those will take at least six months and possibly up to a year before you can play football,'' Dr. Daniel Solomon, of Marin Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine near San Francisco, told the newspaper (he does not know the specifics of Mariani's case). “I've seen a lot of people come back and do fine after these. The trick is avoiding the complications, which specifically are infection with an open fracture where the bone has broken through. You have to be very careful.”

If needed, Theismann said he's ready to answer any of Mariani's questions.

“If he wants to talk to me at any point and time about this thing, tell him to contact me,” Theismann said. “Whether it's about therapy, training, coming back, the emotional side of it, I'd be more than happy to do anything I could to help him.

“It's a devastating injury, but he'll be back. He is a young guy and he'll be back stronger than ever.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

 
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