As much as the NFL would rather if everyone discussed all of the yards and TDs produced in game after game Authentic Ted Ginn Jr Jersey , and for whatever advancements have been made in player safety over time, pro football is, at its core, a brutal sport 鈥?and what happened to Alex Smith's right leg is not very different from what happened to Joe Theismann's right leg, exactly 33 years apart.Theismann knew it right away.The former Washington Redskins QB 鈥?whose career ended after he was hurt on a sack by Lawrence Taylor on Nov. 18, 1985 鈥?was at FedEx Field on Sunday and turned away so he wouldn't have to see the unnatural way in which current Redskins QB Smith's tibia and fibula twisted as they were fractured under the weight of Texans defenders J.J. Watt and Kareem Jackson."It was horrible," Theismann said in a telephone interview. "My heart went out to him. I feel so bad for him."Washington center Chase Rouiller had an even more up-close-and-personal view when Smith was sacked and offered a little insight into what life as an NFL player is like.They all know, naturally, that at any moment, it could be them down on the turf, covering their face with their hands before being driven away on a cart."You say your prayers while it's happening," Rouiller said, "and you've got to get ready for the next play."Said Redskins coach Jay Gruden: "These things happen in pro football, unfortunately. Just hate to see them happen with a guy like Alex."Smith was not, of course, the only player hurt in this game, which ended with AFC South-leading Houston holding on for a 23-21 victory, their seventh win in a row after an 0-3 start.Nor, unsurprisingly, was he the only starting quarterback hurt during a sack on this day: Marcus Mariota left the Tennessee Titans' 38-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts with an injured right elbow.The league likes to tout all of the offensive records broken in this offense-rules age. The broken bones? Less so."We know we play a violent sport," said Colt McCoy, who replaced Smith and will make his first start since 2014 when Washington plays at the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. "You just never want to see that happen."In case you missed it, here are other top topics after the NFL season's 11th Sunday:FLOP EAGLES FLOPCarson Wentz threw three picks and zero TDs as the Philadelphia Eagles' offense struggled yet again. The injuries kept mounting as their defense did nothing to slow Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. If Philadelphia's 48-7 loss at New Orleans didn't mark the end of the meaningful portion of the Eagles' season Youth Alex Okafor Jersey , it sure looked like it did. It was the most lopsided defeat ever for a reigning Super Bowl champion. The Eagles are 4-6, the Saints are 9-1, and the proceedings felt as if they were a passing of the torch in the NFC. "Definitely a frustrating one," Wentz said. "We just didn't show up, really."ACTION JACKSONRavens QB Lamar Jackson took one last snap, kneeled to run out the clock on Baltimore's 24-21 victory over Cincinnati in his first professional start, then casually flipped the football to the referee. Jackson started heading to the locker room, pumped his fist 鈥?and then realized he wanted that ball to commemorate the day, so sprinted to run down the official and grabbed his memento. Jackson ran everywhere he wanted to on this afternoon, gaining 117 yards on 27 carries.AS LUCK WOULD HAVE ITFor so long, either a leaky offensive line or some sort of injury that might be traced to that o-line limited the effectiveness of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Well, just look at the guy 鈥?and the guys who are paid to protect him 鈥?now. Luck has not been sacked even once in the Colts' past five games, four of them wins, including Sunday against the Titans. Suddenly, the Colts are 5-5 and a contender for an AFC wild-card berth. Probably not a coincidence: Indy has been using high draft picks on linemen lately, including taking guard Quenton Nelson with the No. 6 overall selection this year.Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at ://HowardFendrich Winning any of the AP's individual NFL awards, from MVP to top rookie, means plenty to players.Being nominated for, no less winning, the Walter Payton Man of the Year award means more.Don't minimize how proud a guy is when he's voted one of the prestigious individual awards. It's a portion of his resume that jumps off the page the way Saquon Barkley hurdles over potential tacklers.But being selected for the Payton award, renamed in 1999 for the great Chicago Bears running back and humanitarian, involves so much more than football achievements."It is probably one of my greatest accomplishments," says 2013 winner Charles Tillman http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ryan-ramczyk-jersey , who played 12 seasons at cornerback for the Bears and his final year with the Panthers. "It really shows the true character of a person."When fans see us, they just assume a lot of times we are just athletes. They don't know what these men do on their days off during the season, in the community. A lot of players really put their community service in every week of the year. They get their charity work done and their volunteer work."The Walter Payton Award is about excellence off the field. I am proud to be associated with that award."Who wouldn't be? In a time when many NFL players have been criticized or even condemned for their protests of social and racial injustice during the national anthem, many 鈥?if not most of them 鈥?also have been doing good deeds in their communities. They don't do it for recognition or applause. As Tillman notes, they do it because they can "shed light on a bigger thing. It's not just football. It's about being a good person, serving other people and loving other people."Unlike in the past, when three finalists were selected before a recipient was chosen, one player from every NFL team is a finalist. All will be recognized and participate in NFL functions during Super Bowl week. The Man of the Year will be revealed at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press' individual NFL awards are announced Feb. 2 in Atlanta.Five current players have won the award: Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and J.J. Watt, and they wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys. All 2018 finalists will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning this week through the end of the season."It's a tremendous honor," Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum says. This week, Beachum surprised Ca'moore Jones, an eighth-grade student at Orange Preparatory Academy in New Jersey, with two Super Bowl tickets. Moore was nominated by his teacher, Glenn Gamble, for his performance and growth with the Character Playbook course that is embraced by the NFL."Just the name Walter Payton, he's the gold standard," Beachum said. "What he did off the field and on the field, his excellence is bar none, top in history. So to be mentioned in the same name and the same breath as him Alex Anzalone Jersey , it's truly humbling."Humbling is an appropriate word because the award finalists often feel that sensation during their community work."I've been blessed to play in this league for 13 years and to be a part of some really good seasons," says Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, who is heavily involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "But making a difference in someone's life will go beyond football any day of the week. It's not just about the game, it's about the opportunity to bring people together. When I look back and think about my NFL career, the time spent out in the community giving back to people in need will always be the most touching to me."Adds Colts DE Jabaal Sheard: "With our jobs as NFL players comes a huge platform to brighten and improve the lives of others, and that's what I strive to do every day."Tillman knows firsthand how kind and giving people can be. His own family was helped in 2008 when his infant daughter Tiana needed a heart transplant. Magali Garcia, the mother of 9-week-old Armando, who died in a Minnesota hospital, offered her son's heart.To Tillman, Magali Garcia is a hero, not him. She is what the Payton award is all about."When my daughter needed a new heart, another person stepped up and decided to take a bad situation and turn it into a success story," Tillman says. "She not only blessed my family but other families with her choice."For all we do in our foundation, it is a great blessing for what this woman did for her son. Magali, she is the one who actually is blessing those people, blesses them every day, and doesn't even know it. She served my family and a lot of families and she made an amazing choice. A tough decision. I think about her son a lot and I truly am sorry. She is a part of my family, and for us to have this story that has bonded us, and this connection, and to turn that negative into something positive by blessing other people ... I get great satisfaction in that."So when the NFL Honors program is televised the night before the Super Bowl, pay special attention to the names below. Maybe stand up and give them an ovation for the truly special things they do:Arizona Cardinals: Antoine BetheaAtlanta Falcons: Grady JarrettBaltimore Ravens: Brandon CarrBuffalo Bills: Lorenzo AlexanderCarolina Panthers: Julius PeppersChicago Bears: Trey BurtonCincinnati Bengals: Carlos DunlapCleveland Browns: Christian KirkseyDallas Cowboys: Dak PrescottDenver Broncos: Von MillerDetroit Lions: Matthew StaffordGreen Bay Packers: Kenny ClarkHouston Texans: Whitney MercilusIndianapolis Colts: Jabaal SheardJacksonville Jaguars: Blake BortlesKansas City Chiefs: Dustin ColquittLos Angeles Chargers: Corey LiugetLos Angeles Rams: Andrew WhitworthMiami Dolphins: Kenny StillsMinnesota Vikings: Kyle RudolphNew England Patriots: Devin McCourtyNew Orleans Saints: Mark IngramNew York Giants: Michael ThomasNew York Jets: Kelvin BeachumOakland Raiders: Marshawn LynchPhiladelphia Eagles: Chris LongPittsburgh Steelers: Cameron HeywardSan Francisco 49ers: Robbie GouldSeattle Seahawks: K.J. WrightTampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoyTennessee Titans: Jurrell CaseyWashington Redskins: Vernon DavisAP Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. contributed. Custom Green Bay Packers Jerseys
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