The details of Kevin Pearson's (Justin Hartley) football-career-ending injury were shown on Tuesday night's episode.
The episode, entitled "Number One," focused on Kevin's life in two main aspects: his current struggle with addiction and his high school football career.
The incident is set up with flashbacks. Kevin is shown being disrespectful to a college football coach interesting in giving him a scholarship. This sets off a dispute with his father Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), who is still recovering from his own addictions. Kevin says his talent makes him worthy of an offer from a better school, but Jack wants him to realize how lucky he was to get that offer.
Jack then takes Kevin's adopted brother Randall to tour a college and is forced to miss Kevin's game.
In the present, Kevin returns home to receive an award at his high school, but his downward spiral into substance abuse continues. At one point, he drunkenly wanders into the high school's football stadium and begins to recount all the worst moments in his life such as Jack's death, his relationship struggles with Sophie and the moment he became injured on the field.
It turns out, the night he was injured was the same one set up in the episode's flashback. As Kevin dropped back to throw a pass he began to get caught up in his future fantasies, including winning the Super Bowl and making Jack proud of him. Then two defenders blindside him just before the throw.
The teenage Kevin is shown grabbing his right leg in pain as Sophie, his sister Kate and mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore) look on.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.
Photo Credit: NBC / Ron Batzdorff