Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith is responsible for one of the 2020 season’s best stories.
Smith’s resilient comeback from a career-altering and life-threatening leg injury has put him in a position to win Comeback Player of the Year. More importantly, Smith has the Washington Football Team still alive in the NFC East Division race.
Although Smith is back and playing well, he admittedly still takes the field with an “element” of fear each week.
Alex Smith is one of the NFL’s top stories
Even a few months ago, real skepticism existed around the idea that Alex Smith would play another NFL down.
Smith took that skepticism and threw it into the dumpster. Nearly two years after suffering a compound fracture in his leg, Smith took the field in Week 5 in relief of an injured Kyle Allen.
Smith has completed 68.2% of his passes this season for 918 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. Three of those interceptions came in a 23-20 loss to the Giants in Week 9.
That Smith even made it back to the field is worth celebrating. Regardless of his final stats, Smith should be considered a frontrunner for Comeback Player of the Year.
Smith still plays with an ‘element’ of fear
Alex Smith had a nightmarish fight just to keep his leg and survive, much less make it back to the field.
Smith had 16 additional surgeries after his initial injury and surgery in November 2018. An infection in his fibula and tibia resulted in more operations.
In an interview with NBC Sports, Smith was asked if fear ever enters his mind.
“There’s obviously an element. In football, there’s real repercussions. It’s a physical game. There’s always been that element even before this injury. That’s part of what is amazing about football, playing on that edge, that feeling of being alive. It’s intoxicating. Really, that’s also part of the reason I wanted to come back and see if I could.”
Smith has handled his fear well this season. On one of his first plays back from the injury, Smith dealt with Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald jumping on him from behind.
Smith did not suffer an injury on that play, and has not suffered any setbacks this season.
Alex Smith and Washington can make history
Alex Smith and the Washington Football Team have an opportunity to make history this season.
At 3-7, Washington needs a miracle to even finish the season at 8-8. But because the NFC East Division is so bad, Washington can sneak into the playoffs with a winning record.
Washington plays at Dallas (3-7) on Thanksgiving Day. The winner will take a narrow lead over Philadelphia (3-6-1) in the NFC East standings.
Only two teams in NFL history — the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 and the Carolina Panthers in 2014 — made the NFL playoffs with losing records. Both at least won seven games.
If things play out a certain way, one of the NFC East teams could host a playoff game in January despite having won five or six games this year.