It's been nearly 35 years since a fateful Monday night in the nation's capital saw a ferocious Lawrence Taylor tackle conclude the career of Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann in horrifying fashion.
A compound fracture snapped through living rooms and the replay has shocked viewers for years to follow.
While Theismann says it took him 20 years to watch his injury play out, he couldn't help but see Smith's as he was there live in a Redskins suite.
"I was there that night," Theismann told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on the latest *RapSheet + Friends Podcast*. "As soon as it happened, they happened to have a camera angle from behind. Now, it took me 20 years to see mine, but then all of a sudden with Alex, I saw this camera angle from behind him. And I looked at it and I turned to [my wife] Robin and said, 'That's exactly like mine.'"
Questions abound pertaining to Smith, such as how long his recovery will be and if and when he plays again, where does he fit in the Redskins' plans?
However, Theismann revealed that it could have been a far more serious injury than it already was.
"He's had complications with it," Theismann said. "He came very, very close to losing his leg. Fortunately he still has it."
"Alex for sure will not play this year," Theismann said.
As for the long and arduous road of recovery, Theismann offered no promises or predictions of sunshine and rainbows for the 35-year-old Smith.
"We've talked a lot, he wants to play," Theismann said.
But want to and able to are different stories as to the next chapter in the three-time Pro Bowler's story.
"The problem is gonna be the healing process. How long does it take?" Theismann said. "My advice to him would be ... let's see how you feel one year from now.
"I think he wants to, I know it, but I'd say it's gonna be a long road."
Listen to the full podcast below.