Alex Smith suffers leg injury 33 years after Joe Theismann's

Washington quarterback Alex Smith suffered a season-ending leg injury against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Smith was dropping back to pass in the second half against Houston when he was taken down awkwardly by Kareem Jackson and J.J. Watt. Under the weight of both defenders, Smith’s right leg seemingly crumbled, leaving him in a heap on the field.

Smith tossed his helmet and buried his head in his jersey immediately after the hit while medical attendants quickly called for a cart to remove him from the field. After the game, the team formally  Smith suffered a broken right tibia and fibula and will undergo surgery right away.

See photos from the devastating injury: 

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Redskins QB Alex Smith suffers horrifying leg injury
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Redskins QB Alex Smith suffers horrifying leg injury
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11), center, is sacked and injured by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99), right, Houston Texans strong safety Kareem Jackson (25) during a game between the Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans at FedEX Field on November 18, 2018, in Landover, MD. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) ankle is injured as he is sacked by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) and Houston Texans strong safety Kareem Jackson (25) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 18: PLEASE CLEAR USE OF THIS IMAGE WITH A PHOTO EDITOR OR MATT VITA OF MATT RENNIE. Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11), center, is sacked and injured by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99), right, Houston Texans strong safety Kareem Jackson (25) during a game between the Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans at FedEX Field on November 18, 2018, in Landover, MD. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, bottom, slides under Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph (24) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) reacts to an injury in the third quarter during a game between the Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans at FedEX Field on November 18, 2018, in Landover, MD. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson (26) grimaces as he checks on Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) as he lays injured on the turf in the third quarter of the game between the Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans at FedEx Field on, November 18, 2018. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, bottom, reacts after an injury during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) is lifted up to be carted off the field in a game between the Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans at FedEx Field on, November 18, 2018. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Houston Texans strong safety Kareem Jackson (25) reaches for Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) as he leaves the field after an injury during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 18: Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) is carted off the field in the third quarter at FedEx Field after a bad injury. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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If the injury weren’t already ugly enough, the play occurred 33 years to the day after New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor sacked Washington quarterback Joe Theismann, breaking his tibia and fibula and ending Theismann’s career.

The similarities weren’t lost on Theismann, either, who watched Smith’s injury from the stands at FedEx Field.

Backup quarterback Colt McCoy finished the game for Washington, which fell 23-21 after missing a last-second field goal.

Washington’s gamble on Smith

Washington targeted Alex Smith early last offseason after it became clear that franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins would be opting for free agency.

Kansas City was more than willing to part with Smith as Patrick Mahomes emerged as its starter of the future. It sent Smith to Washington for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick in the 2018 draft.

To show commitment to its new quarterback, Washington handed Smith a four-year, $94 million contract extension. Fortunately for Smith, that deal included a $71 million guarantee if he got injured.

Even still, no one could’ve predicted a situation like this. Smith is 34 years old — two years younger than Theismann was at the time of his injury — and it’s too early to speculate what Smith’s recovery will look like.

Washington was sitting atop the NFC East standings on Sunday morning and will need some serious help moving forward to stay there. McCoy is listed as the No. 2 quarterback but has a career QBR of 78.9 (26 touchdowns, 23 interceptions).

More than halfway through the season, Washington will have to find a new starting quarterback to take it through the regular season and, hopefully, beyond. Then it will have to assess what type of career Smith can have moving forward.

Related: See the most gruesome sports injuries in recent memory: 

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The most gruesome sports injuries in recent memory
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The most gruesome sports injuries in recent memory
Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) sits on the court after injuring his ankle during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
Kevin Ware #5 of the Louisville Cardinals is tended to by medical personnel after he injured his leg in the first half against the Duke Blue Devils during the Midwest Regional Final round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 31, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Richard Zednik #20 of the Florida Panthers grabs his neck and skates off the ice after being cut during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres on February 10, 2008 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox pitcher Bryce Florie (R) is helped by the team's trainer as Florie is taken off the field on a cart after being hit in the face by a line drive from the New York Yankees' Ryan Thompson in the ninth inning at Boston's Fenway Park, September 8, 2000. The Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-0. (Photo via Reuters)
Quarterback Joe Theismann #7 of the Washington Redskins is helped by teammate Mark May #73 and others after being injured when sacked by linebacker Lawrence Taylor #56 of the New York Giants during a Monday Night Football game at RFK Stadium on November 18, 1985 in Washington, DC. Theismann suffered a broken leg. Talking with Taylor is defensive lineman Leonard Marshall. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Armenia's Andranik Karapetyan sustains an injury while competing during the Men's 77kg weightlifting competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 10, (Photo credit GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Samir Ait Said reacts after injuring his leg while competing in the qualifying for the men's vault event of the Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympic Arena during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, 2016. (Photo credit THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
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Team USA guard Paul George is carted off the floor on a gurney after suffering a lower leg injury during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas & Mack Center. (Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
NaVorro Bowman #53 of the San Francisco 49ers gets injured while striping the ball from Jermaine Kearse #15 of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 23-17 to win the NFC Championship. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey reacts after breaking his leg during their English Premier League soccer match against Stoke City in Stoke, northern England February 27, 2010. (Photo via REUTERS/Nigel Roddis)
Buffalo Sabres Goal tender Clint Malarchuk (R) grasps his throat after suffering a serious neck laceration. The life threatening injury was caused when players Steve Tuttle and Uwe Kruppe collided near the goal and caused Tuttles's skate blade cut into Malarchuk's jugular vein. Blues defenseman Tom Tilley (L) calls for medical attention. (Photo via Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jason Kendall is tended to by a trainer after fracturing his ankle in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in Pittsburgh July 4. Kendall stumbled over first base trying to beat out a bunt. (Photo via Reuters)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey (L) falls to the ground with a broken left leg after being tackled by New York Giants safety Shaun Williams in the third quarter in Denver September 10, 2001. (Photo via REUTERS/Gary C. Caskey)
Janos Baranyai of Hungary screams in pain after dropping the weights during the Men's 77kg weightlifting competition event at the University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Gymnasium during Day 5 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Long jumper Salim Sdiri of France is carried away by paramedics after he was hit by a javelin during the Golden Gala IAAF Golden League at the Olympic stadium in Rome July 13, 2007. (Photo via REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)
Starting tailback Willis McGahee is attended to after injuring his knee against Ohio State University during the National Championship Fiesta Bowl held at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. Ohio State defeated Miami 31-24 in double overtime to win the national championship. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Jessica Dube of Canada is wheeled off the ice after being slashed in the face by the skate of her partner, Bryce Davison of Canada (being lead, wearing skates), while competing in the original dance portion of the ice dancing competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships February 8, 2007 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
New York Mets' center fielder Carlos Beltran (L) collides with right fielder Mike Cameron as they dive for a triple in shallow center field hit by San Diego Padres' David Ross during the seventh inning at Petco Park in San Diego August 11, 2005. Cameron was taken away on a stretcher. (Photo via REUTERS/Mike Blake MB/JJ)
This 28 June 1997 file photo shows referee Lane Mills (L) stepping in as Evander Holyfield (R) reacts after Mike Tyson (C) bit his ear in the third round of their WBA Heavyweight Championship Fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. A decade after his infamous 'Bite Fight' victory over Mike, Holyfield still dreams of retaking boxing's heavyweight throne and considers most reigning champions 'beatable'. The 44-year-old US veteran will fight 41-year-old American Lou Savarese in a 10-round affair 30 June 2007 in El Paso, Texas, seeking the fourth victory in a row since making a comeback after being banished by New York officials following a loss. (Photo credit JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
Defensive end Connor Barwin #98 of the Houston Texans goes down with an ankle dislocation in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas. The Houston Texans won 34-24. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 23: Nick Fitzgerald #7 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs is attended to by medical staff after an injury during the first half of an NCAA football game against the Mississippi Rebels at Davis Wade Stadium on November 23, 2017 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
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