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Nov. 18, 1985: Theismann's Career Ends With a Break

Nov. 18, 1985: Theismann's Career Ends With a Break

One of the most grisly scenes ever in sports took place on Nov. 18, 1985. Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor penetrated the backfield, leaped on the back of Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, and bulldogged him down as other Giants converged, shattering Theismann’s right leg in several places. Some 53,000 fans at RFK Stadium, plus millions of Monday night TV viewers, witnessed the horrific play, which left Theismann in agony on the field. Seldom-used backup QB Jay Schroeder stepped in and led the Skins to a 23-21 win. Meanwhile, Theismann underwent a rehabilitation process, and vowed to return for his 13th NFL season in 1986. But his right leg failed to cooperate, and he was forced to retire.