LOCALS IN THE NFL

Liz Smith Wishes Alex Smith Happy Birthday, Thanks Fans For Support Following Project 11

May 7, 2020, 9:41 AM | Updated: 9:43 am

Elizabeth and Alex Smith...

Elizabeth Smith and professional football player Alex Smith attends ESPN The Magazine's "NEXT" Event on February 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN)

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Elizabeth Smith, the wife of former Utah Utes and current Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, wished her husband a happy birthday and thanked fans for their support following the release of a documentary about Alex’s recovery from a brutal 2018 leg injury.

The former Utah signal-caller turned 36 years old on Thursday, May 7.

“Happy Happy Birthday to this handsome, hard-working man,” Liz posted on her Instagram account. “The last week we’ve been overwhelmed with love, support, and sweet messages. We cannot thank you enough. Project 11 was a look into what the last 18 months have been (mostly Alex refusing to give up). I am in awe of his perseverance every day. He just keeps getting stronger and refuses to give up… Forever grateful.”

 

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Alongside the birthday message, Liz shared a video of Alex working out and running on a practice field.

The quarterback’s birthday arrived less than a week after the release of ESPN’s documentary about the QB titled “Project 11.” The documentary detailed the brutal 2018 leg injury Smith suffered during an NFL game for the Washington Redskins and his recovery since then. “Project 11” first aired on ESPN on Friday, May 1.

Alex Smith’s 2018 Injury

The former Utah quarterback suffered a broken fibula and tibia during Washington’s game against the Houston Texans on November 18, 2018.

“It went fuzzy,” Alex Smith recalled and detailed the severity of the injury during the E:60 special.

Doctors attended to the injured Redskins’ signal-caller and determined immediate surgery was required.

Days after the initial surgery, Smith developed a fever and his leg became infected with flesh-eating bacteria. Multiple surgeries were required to remove all of the dead tissue from his limb.

“He progressively got worse,” Liz Smith recounted. “He wasn’t Alex.”

Smith said that he doesn’t remember much of this process and didn’t immediately understand the significance of the injury.

“The last thing I remember was them wrapping my leg and seeing it look like that [infected],” Alex Smith said.

Alex Smith’s Future

Smith’s path back from the brutal injury hasn’t been an easy one. It even took the quarterback a while to think about football again.

“I didn’t really want to think about football and couldn’t really think about football for so long,” said the former Utah QB.

After 10 months of recovery and lots of hard work, Smith was able to walk on the turf at FedEx Field prior to a Washington Redskins game last season.

“I feel really good about where I am. Optimistic and hopeful,” the QB said in 2019.

The quarterback is still recovering from the injury more than a year and a half after he suffered it. He is still a member of the Redskins’ roster.

Although he wasn’t playing under center that September day, the quarterback still has the goal to return to the gridiron but feels good with whatever happens.

“I’m feeling pretty good about the rest of my life,” Alex Smith said. “Regardless of what happens with football.”

Alex Smith’s Football Career

Smith has played in the NFL since 2005. He was drafted out of Utah by the San Francisco 49ers with the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.

He’s been a member of the Niners, Kansas City Chiefs, and Washington Redskins.

In 2018, his first season with the Redskins, Smith passed for 2,180 yards with a 62.5 completion percentage. He threw 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in 10 games before going out with the injury.

Through 166 career games, Smith has completed 62.4 percent of his throws for 34,068 yards, 193 touchdowns, and 101 interceptions.


The “Project 11” documentary is available on-demand via ESPN+.

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Liz Smith Wishes Alex Smith Happy Birthday, Thanks Fans For Support Following Project 11