Alex Smith‘s life has completely changed since his devastating leg injury in November 2018 that nearly took his life. Despite that, Smith continues to work his way back to somehow getting the chance to resume his NFL career with the Washington Football Team. There have been plenty of obstacles along the way, but that hasn’t derailed his determination and desire to play football. All that got another significant push forward as his dreams of an NFL comeback are now a reality.
Alex Smith’s journey from life-threatening injury
Alex Smith embarked on a strong start in his first season with Washington that saw everything come to a sudden halt. His NFL career came to a complete stop in November 2018 after he suffered a devastating broken right leg injury against the Houston Texans.
Smith required immediate surgery to repair a spiral compound fracture in his right leg to his tibia and fibula. Following that first operation, things quickly took a life-threatening turn as he developed a flesh-eating bacteria that began to eat away at his leg.
That required him to undergoing 25 total operations that included eight debridements, and 17 total surgeries in four different hospitals stays over nine months. That even cropped the discussion around amputation above the knee. Smith was able to recover from that point forward to retain his leg that saw skins grafts used during surgery involving transferring muscle from his left quadriceps to save the area.
In the months that have followed since then, Smith has continued to stay on a promising path toward recovery. He has worked his way out of his bulky leg brace toward doing on-the-field football drills. The entire process has seen him take progressive steps forward that have now reached a point where his comeback to the league is reality.
Alex Smith receives clearance to play football
It has been nothing short of a remarkable journey for Alex Smith to get back onto the football.
Smith has grinded through each step of the process to put himself in the position to get back toward preparing for a football return. According to John Keim of ESPN, the 36-year-old received another massive step forward as he was cleared for football activity by Washington on Sunday.
The fact that he’s reached this point after essentially suffering an injury that could have cost him his life is beyond incredible. He’s now able to get back to playing the game he loves and compete at the highest level. Things have certainly changed since he last played with Washington, but now he can add to his career on his own terms.
Could he challenge for the starting job?
Head coach Ron Rivera has been quite vocal on the former Pro Bowler status if returned to the mix for the 2020 season.
That firmly puts Smith back into the equation to vie for possibly starting the upcoming campaign. Washington has moved fully forward with Dwayne Haskins holding down that spot, but the 36-year-old could nudge his way into that position. If Smith can move through the entire process without any setbacks, he has proven that he brings tremendous stability to the quarterback position throughout his career.
It places tremendous pressure on Haskins to take the next leap in his development because there is more than a viable quarterback behind him on the depth chart. Beyond all that, Smith’s ability to get to this point where he’s back on the football field is phenomenal and admirable.