Kraft: Theismann reflects on career-ending injury

Joe Theismann was paired with Juli Inkster at the Kraft Nabisco pro-am on Wednesday.

Joe Theismann was paired with Juli Inkster at the Kraft Nabisco pro-am on Wednesday.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Joe Theismann was paired with Juli Inkster in Wednesday’ pro-am round at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and odds are they did not compare past ailments.

Inkster, 52, was sidelined with an injury for the first time in her career last season. Theismann, of course, suffered one of the most horrific injuries in NFL history.

“I laugh about golfers all the time,” Theismann said midway through his afternoon round at Mission Hills. “Why don’t you stand there and I’ll get some of my 300-pound buddies to knock you on the ground and see how excited you are to get back on the tee.”

Theismann’s career-ending leg injury was back in the news after Louisville’s Kevin Ware endured his own stomach-turning leg injury during Sunday night’s NCAA basketball tournament.

Theismann, who was watching the game live, sent out a Tweet that went viral and later got in touch with Ware, who he said is in a “great place mentally.”

“I think he’s going to be a great inspiration to his basketball team,” Theismann said.

For Theismann, memories from the football field in 1985 came flooding back.

“It came back to me instantly,” he said. “I could smell the the smells, hear the sounds, feel the moisture on my back just like it was yesterday.”

Theismann now has a golf club in his hands most days, which is far less dangerous than his previous pastime.

“That was the second time I had broken my right leg,” Theismann said of the Lawrence Taylor hit. “I dislocated my left elbow, broke my nose seven times, lost my front teeth, had multiple concussions ... tore my left knee, broken ribs, broken collar bones.”

Good thing he and Inkster had other things to talk about. Like winning championships.

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