Lawrence Taylor Ended His Career

Q: Some football player endured a horrific injury in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I can’t for the life of me remember who it was; I only know that Lawrence Taylor ended his career. Can you tell me the player’s name? Am I getting one or more of the details confused?

A: You’re not confused. The player you’re thinking of is Joe Theismann, the quarterback of the Washington Redskins from 1975 to 1985. Theismann’s NFL career was cut short when he suffered a grotesque leg injury while being sacked by New York Giants linebackers Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor during a live Monday Night Football game telecast.

Termed a “comminuted compound fracture,” and the injury was subsequently voted as the “Most Shocking Moment in National Football League History.” The Redskins were running a “flea-flicker” lateral play at the time, which gave Taylor an extra second or two to target the quarterback.

Having suffered a fracture to his fibula and tibia, Theismann lay in an awkward heap upon the ground; however, he was later quoted as saying that he felt no pain at the time. Calling the human body a “magnificent machine,” Theismann claimed to feel only numbness the moment the hit occurred.

Unfortunately, Theismann wasn’t able to continue his career, although most people believe his advanced age had more to do with this than the injury, itself.

By Ryan Lawrence
Sports Expert