Alex Smith has gone through a rough journey since he suffered his life-changing leg injury back in the 2018 season. All that hasn’t diminished his desire to continue his NFL career with the Washington Football Team despite the massive obstacles he has faced. The former Pro Bowl quarterback has continued to make significant progress, which was given another boost in his hopes of resuming his football career.
Alex Smith’s path back to recovery
There hasn’t been any shortage of difficulties along the way for Alex Smith since he suffered a devastating broken right leg against the Houston Texans in November 2018.
Smith required immediate surgery to repair a spiral compound fracture in his right leg to his tibia and fibula. After he underwent the initial operation, things quickly took a scary turn as he developed a flesh-eating bacteria that began to eat away at his leg.
That resulted in having to undergo 25 total operations that included eight debridements, and 17 total surgeries in four different hospitals stays over nine months. That had even sprouted conversation around possible 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.
Smith has continued to improve to the point where he shed his bulky knee brace and has received clearance for football activities. The former star quarterback has gotten another promising development in his hopes of playing in the NFL again.
Alex Smith could factor into quarterback situation
It has been a tough path back to the NFL for Alex Smith, but he has continued to make encouraging progress in his recovery from the devastating injury.
Smith has moved a step closer to resuming his football career, which recently got another boost with head coach Ron Rivera voicing that the 36-year-old will factor in the quarterback competition if he’s healthy, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post.
“This could be a very interesting challenge for us because of Alex Smith,” Rivera said. “If Alex is healthy and continues to get healthy and we do activate him, he’s going to be in the throes of this competition. It’s going to unfold I think very nicely for us as a football team. This competition is only going to make you better, it’s going to push the young guys as well. So I just feel really good about what we’re going to be doing as we start going forward. It’ll be a very challenging situation to make sure everybody’s reps are equitable and their competition is the same.”
Rivera has stated all along that Smith could get a shot at competing for the starting job for the 2020 season. All that hinges on him proving he can take the physicality that comes with the game. He’s coming off an injury that nearly cost him his life.
It’s on him to continue to take steps forward in his rehab to reach the point where he can be cleared to play with contact.
Dwayne Haskins is in the driver’s seat
Alex Smith is on a potentially promising path to get back onto the football field in more than a year.
However, Washington has made it quite clear that they are committed to Dwayne Haskins as their starter. That was echoed even louder after they elected to pass on the chance to bring Cam Newton in this offseason, but Rivera voiced that Haskins’ presence nixed that scenario.
Haskins experienced his fair share of struggles in his rookie campaign, but the 2020 season is his chance to prove he’s the long-term answer under center. Smith has an opportunity to wedge his way into the conversation, but it’s the former Ohio State product’s job to lose.