Redskins' Alex Smith suffers gruesome injury 33 years to the day after Joe Theismann's broken leg

Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffered a gruesome ankle injury midway through the third quarter of Sunday's game. The injury occurred during a sack by Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and cornerback Kareem Jackson took him to the turf (if you're squeamish, don't click the link, but you can see the play that ended Smith's day here).

After the game, coach Jay Gruden told reporters that Smith broke his tibia and fibula and will undergo surgery immediately.

Smith left the field on a stretcher and with an air cast on his leg. He was 12 of 27 for 135 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, with the Redskins trailing 17-7. His replacement, veteran Colt McCoy, led a two-play touchdown drive following a Texans interception to cut the lead to 17-14. Washington led 21-20 early in the fourth quarter before eventually falling, 23-21. The Skins slip to 6-4 on the season, now one game clear of the Cowboys, who beat the Falcons.

McCoy was originally a 2010 pick of the Browns but he's been in Washington since 2014, where he's started four games, all in 2014, and he's 1-3 as a starter. Prior to Sunday, he hadn't attempted a pass in a regular-season game since 2015 though now the expectation is that he will be the Redskins' starter next week, and for the rest of the season.

This isn't the first time a Redskins quarterback suffered a serious lower leg injury.

Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann suffered a broken leg on Nov. 18, 1985 while being sacked by Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. For Theismann, then 36, it was the last game of his 12-year NFL career. Smith, 34, signed a four-year, $94 million deal (including $71 million in guarantees) in the offseason and his contract is such that the Redskins can not easily get out from under it without taking a huge salary-cap hit, at least until after the 2020 season.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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