25 years ago today: Lawrence Taylor ends Joe Theismann’s career (VIDEO)
Today marks the 25th anniversary of perhaps the most gruesome moment in NFL history. On November 18, 1985, Redskins QB Joe Theismann dropped back to pass against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football … it would turn out to be the last snap he would ever take at quarterback.
As we all know by now, the play was a flea flicker, with John Riggins pitching the ball back to his QB. The Giants pass rush closed quickly, and LB Lawrence Taylor leaped at Theismann, with the full force of his body weight landing on the quarterback’s right leg. It was a clean hit, but there was a loud POP on the field (described by some as a “shotgun blast”), and Theismann’s leg had been nearly destroyed. He had a shattered fibula and a compound fracture of the tibia with one end protruding from his skin. It was one of those moments you couldn’t stand to look at, but just couldn’t turn away … and I bet most of us remember where we were when it happened. (I was in the 6th grade, doing homework while watching the game with the sound down. I didn’t need to hear it to know how bad it was)
Watch the grainy VHS tape of the incident after the jump
(WARNING – GRAPHIC)