WASHINGTON — Quarterback Alex Smith has been through the unimaginable. A horrific compound fracture almost cost him his life, and many thought for sure his career.
But nearly 21 months after his injury, Smith is back on the field and competing at the quarterback position on the Washington Football Team
It was Nov. 18, 2018 that a tackle left him with a broken leg. Initially, after surgery, he felt fine, but his wound became infected and Smith went from a normal recovery to fighting for his life. He spent more than a year rehabbing, undergoing 17 surgeries, learning to walk and run again.
Now, he’s ready to play football again.
“He looks really fluid, he really does, and that’s a tribute to his trainers and his doctors to get him where he is today," head coach Ron Rivera said.
Smith is at training camp now, working on his technique alongside Kyle Allen and Dwayne Haskins, and Rivera said he's very much in the quarterback conversation for the 2020 season.
“He did a lot of good things last week. He went through all four workout days, and had no residual effects, which is really important because the next day usually tells us," Rivera said. "He looked good, and he was ready to go, so we will see how he does this week and we will go from there."
Smith was the first overall pick in 2005 NFL draft, and is now a league veteran. Rivera believes Smith will be mentally ready, but he just needs to be sure he’s physically ready.
“To be honest he already knows 75% of our playbook, but I wonder if he can do the movements he needs to do, and protect himself when he’s on the field," Rivera said. "He's going to have to hand the ball off, he’s going to have to drop back in the pocket and throw the ball and escape. We have to make sure he can do those things, and that he can protect himself if he does."
Only time will tell, but the sole fact that Alex Smith is back on the field, and feels healthy enough to play again in the NFL, is nothing short of a miracle.