Alexander (Alex) Douglas Smith is in the midst of one of the most extraordinary comebacks in sports history. The Washington Football Team’s starting quarterback suffered a horrific right leg injury against the Houston Texans on November 18, 2018.
Alex Smith was taken down on a sack by Texans’ defenders J.J. Watt and Kareem Jackson. Not your ordinary run of the mill sack, a closer look depicted that Mr. Smith’s right leg appeared to be broken. Ouch, babe. That’s probably the understatement of the century. I certainly can’t imagine the pain he endured.
Here’s a YouTube video showing Smith’s gruesome leg injury. If you’re squeamish, don’t watch or look away.
Alex sustained both a spiral fracture and a compound fracture to his right tibia and fibula — the two bones that make up a human being’s lower leg. Smith was immediately carted off the field, and it was confirmed by then Washington Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden that Alex would undergo abrupt surgery.
It didn’t take just one surgery to get Alex Smith back on the playing field, but 17 of them. Simply frightening, my friends. That wasn’t even the worst part of his ordeal. Mr. Smith was discovered to have an infection after his initial surgery. Alex became septic, meaning that chemicals were being released into his bloodstream as a human response to tackle the infection.
The release of these chemicals could’ve led to organ damage for Alex Smith. Basically, he was dealing with flesh-eating bacteria and the possibility of losing his right leg from amputation above the knee or potential loss of life.
Several years of rigorous rehabilitation along with those 17 surgeries along the way and Alex Smith is miraculously back on the football field in the NFL. Utter perseverance and resiliency personified, y’all. He’s a gridiron hero. Wow.
Approximately two years removed from his devastating right leg injury, Alex Smith made his comeback debut under center on October 11, 2020, against the Los Angeles Rams.
“Very surreal at first,” Smith said after the game of being back on the field. “To have it happen as fast as it did was probably almost a blessing. … It was kind of nice in that situation not having to think about it. You just go out and do it.”
Standing 6-foot-4 and ringing the bell at 215 pounds, Alex Smith is now 36-years-old. The former University of Utah QB posted a ridiculous 21-1 record as a starter for the Utes during his collegiate career alongside head coach Urban Meyer. Smith’s success in college at Utah led to him being selected No.1-overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers (2005-2012).
Playing for the Kansas City Chiefs (2013-2017), Smith was eventually traded to the Washington Redskins/ Football Team due to the emergence of the Chiefs’ otherworldly QB, Patrick Mahomes.
Alex Smith’s first action since his horrid injury had him playing in relief after QB Kyle Allen left the game against the Rams with an ankle injury in Week 5. Washington inevitably lost, 30-10, but Mr. Smith had made the most improbable comeback in NFL history. Congratulations, Alex.
WHAT A MOMENT. Alex Smith takes his first snap since November 2018 🙌 pic.twitter.com/OY3rLJlo2m
— NFL Up (@NFLUpOfficial) October 11, 2020
“In the NFL world, I’m an old guy,” Smith said in August of his comeback attempt. “I’m a dinosaur. But in the bigger aspect of life, I’m 36 years old. I have three little kids. I have the rest of my life in front of me. Selfishly, I’m even doing this for them, as crazy as that sounds. I know if I can go out there and play quarterback, I can do anything else in life.”
Thank you for inspiring millions upon millions of people to never give up, Alex Smith. You’re a true warrior.
The Washington Football Team with Alex Smith at the helm now find themselves 5-7 in the NFC East. On Monday, Washington upset the last undefeated team left in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1), 23-17, ending Pittsburgh’s chances of an unblemished season.
Another one bites the dust. Washington’s win had anyone associated with the 1972 Miami Dolphins — the only team to go unbeaten in NFL history (17-0) — celebrating the Steelers’ loss after popping the cork with expensive bubbly.
Alex Smith's good leg suffered a bad gash during Monday's game https://t.co/QGf0KK16as
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 8, 2020
Alex Smith sustained a gnarly left leg gash in the contest, but still flung the pigskin around for 296 and a touchdown against the Steelers, leading his guys to a big-time “W.”
Tied with the New York Giants atop the NFC East with their 5-7 mark, Mr. Smith is helping the franchise make a final push towards the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Giants do own the tiebreaker based on two head-to-head divisional victories.
Alex Smith and the Washington Football Team will butt heads with the 49ers on Sunday, and will then have just three remaining games versus the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, and Philadelphia Eagles to claim the NFC East crown as well as a playoff spot.
Regardless of Washington’s outcome at the conclusion of the 2020-21 NFL regular-season, Alex Smith has cemented his legacy in stone. He definitely won’t bring home NFL MVP honors this season, but he’s the people’s MVP.
Until next week, be smart, stay safe, and stay healthy.