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1980s / Joe Theismann Injury - 1985
Definitely not for the faint of heart: Washington Redskins' quarterback Joe Theismann's famous career-ending leg injury. It occurred during a Monday Night Football telecast on November 18, 1985 when a trick play went awry and two New York Giants (Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor) tackled him in the backfield. Described medically as a "comminuted compound fracture," the play was voted by ESPN viewers as the most memorable injury of all time. (By the way, "comminuted" means "pulverized"--which is a fairly accurate description of the horrible injury.) Theismann, age 36, never played another down in the NFL. His right leg never healed quite properly; it's slightly shorter than his left leg. Frank Gifford, O.J. Simpson and Fran Tarkenton were in the ABC broadcast booth that night.