He had answered questions about the most damaging hit of his career for 15 minutes early Tuesday morning, before the crowd of reporters left him in the Giants' RFK Stadium locker room. One more approached, wanting to know about the hit that ended the season for Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, and he waved the man off with a pained expression.

"Not again," Lawrence Taylor said. "I can't talk about it any more." Taylor, the New York Giants' star outside linebacker, turned and walked slowly to his locker. "I don't even want to see the films," he said.

The Giants had yesterday off, but today, before practice, Taylor will have to see footage of Washington's 23-21 Monday night victory.

All the Giants probably will have trouble watching the films, and not only because the loss kept the NFC East a four-team race with five weeks left.

Theismann's injury hurt the Giants. They admire him. Most like him personally. And they realize how quickly years and careers can end in pro football.

"I've never seen anything like it before," said linebacker Harry Carson, a 10-year veteran. "It really makes you stop and think. That could have been any player on the field out there."

"I heard a crack," said Taylor. "It went through me. It felt like it happened to me. It made me sick."

"You knew it instantly, no doubt about it," said linebacker Gary Reasons. " . . . We went over to Theismann and he told us, 'You guys broke my leg.' "

Said Carson: "He actually tried to joke his way out of it. He wanted to know who got him, and he said he'd be back. I said, 'Not tonight, you won't.' "

"It's not my fault," Taylor said. "It's football. But it really doesn't matter whose fault it is. You never want to see anything like that happen in sports."