NFL

Alex Smith Was ‘Hours’ Away From Amputation — Now He’s Starting on Thanksgiving

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith has plenty to be thankful for on this Turkey Day.

Over two years ago, Smith suffered a career-altering and life-threatening leg injury. The former No. 1 overall pick returned to action earlier this season and will lead the Washington Football Team onto the field on Thanksgiving against the rival Dallas Cowboys.

In a recent interview, Smith reflected on being ‘probably hours’ away from losing his leg to quarterbacking a team still alive in the NFC East Division race. 

Alex Smith is starting again in Washington

RELATED: Alex Smith’s and Joe Theismann’s Injuries Are Eerily Similar in More Ways Than You Think

Alex Smith is the third — and hopefully for head coach Ron Rivera, final — starting quarterback for the Washington Football Team in 2020.

Smith has completed 68.2% of his passes this season for 918 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions in four games. Three of those interceptions came in a 23-20 loss to the Giants in Week 9.

Smith has started Washington’s last two games. Washington benched Dwayne Haskins, who opened the season under center, in early-October.

Haskins, who Washington used a first-round pick on in 2019, has not played a single snap since Week 4.

Kyle Allen, who played for Rivera in Carolina, had mixed success at quarterback. Allen is on injured reserve with a dislocated and fractured left ankle.

Although Washington is 3-7 this season, they are still alive in an ugly NFC East Division. Philadelphia narrowly leads the division with a 3-6-1 record.

Smith nearly lost his leg to amputation in 2018

RELATED: Alex Smith Defeated Death While Recovering From 17 Surgeries

This is Alex Smith’s world, and we’re all just living in it, watching one of the greatest sports stories in recent memory.

Forget the statistics for a second. It was only two years ago that Smith’s career looked over — and his life almost changed for good on that same play.

Smith suffered a compound fracture in his leg in November 2018. Smith had 16 additional surgeries after his initial injury and surgery because of an infection in his fibula and tibia.

In an interview with NBC Sports, Smith recalled how close he was to losing his leg entirely.

“I was out of it when things got really scary. Certainly amputation was right on the doorstep, even probably hours away from it at one point.”

Smith not only came away with his leg, but worked his way back onto the field.

Alex Smith is thankful that he’s alive and made it back

RELATED: Joe Theismann Says Alex Smith Suffered Much More Than He Ever Did

It seems fitting that Alex Smith’s first game on national television since his injury will be on Thanksgiving, the day of being grateful.

Don’t be surprised to see Fox continuously discuss Smith’s journey back to the active roster. Smith has been open about how much his life has changed since he went down in that November 2018 game against the Texans.

NBC’s Peter King asked Smith in that interview what he was thankful for.

“I think certainly first and foremost, grateful for my health right now and my family’s health. You realize looking back what a privileged life I led and had never really faced a challenge like that.”

Smith added he was grateful to have a “have a partner by my side in my wife.”

“And then the two years afterward, when I was in different states of helplessness, her strength, obviously I’m incredibly thankful and grateful for [her,]” Smith said of his wife.

The winner of Thursday’s game between Washington and Dallas will move into first place in the NFC East Division.

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