Reports: Washington QB Alex Smith Set To Be Cleared For Football Activity, Be Activated Off PUP List
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah Utes and current Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith is set to be cleared for football activity and be activated off the physically unable to perform list, according to multiple reports.
Smith will reportedly be activated by the Washington D.C. based NFL team on Sunday, August 16.
The expected roster move is another step in the former Utah QB’s recovery from a brutal leg injury that has sidelined him since 2018.
On Saturday, August 15, Smith’s wife, Elizabeth, shared a video on social media of the quarterback’s family celebrating the next step in his return to the gridiron.
“Hard work pays off! Lots to celebrate in the Smith house tonight,” Elizabeth Smith captioned her post on Instagram.
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By activating Smith on August 16, the quarterback could potentially participate in full-pad work during Washington’s starting Tuesday, August 18.
An ESPN source said that Smith “had a really good week last week” that increased Washington’s confidence in Smith’s ability to protect himself.
In late July, the former Ute told ESPN that doctors had cleared him for full football activity.
“Everyone was in agreement that my bone was in a really good place. I had healed a lot. They said that given the combination of the rod and where I was with the healing process, I had zero limitations and could even resume some football activities,” Smith told ESPN’s Stephania Bell. “To hear them say that from a life standpoint, they wouldn’t restrict me from doing anything — I could go skiing or snowboarding tomorrow if I wanted — then on top of that, to get the green light that I could practice, get contact, that I had healed up, that much was pretty wild to hear. I didn’t know if I would ever hear those words.”
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,” Smith recalled the injury during ESPN’s “Project 11” documentary which aired on May 1.
Doctors attended to the injured 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,” Elizabeth Smith said. “He wasn’t Alex.”
The QB 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],” the Washington signal-caller said.
Saving Alex Smith’s Leg
Following the development of the infection, doctors consulted with Elizabeth to determine the next steps in helping Alex.
Questions like “Can we get control of it?” and “If we can’t get control of it, what do we do?” were in the minds 0f Smith’s doctors.
Not only was Smith’s leg in jeopardy, but so was his life.
“I can’t go home to my children without him,” Smith’s wife recalled. “Just make sure he gets up. He wakes up. I don’t care if it’s with one leg or no legs. We just need to make sure he’s ok.”
“Maybe cutting off your leg is the best thing,” Alex said of the discussion to amputate his limb.
Ultimately, amputation wasn’t the chosen route. Doctors, along with the QB, continued to fight to save the leg.
In total, the Smith experienced 17 surgeries.
The quarterback’s injury was so severe that it was no longer considered a sports-related injury. The damage done to the leg was compared to military injuries and Smith went to San Antonio, Texas to rehab.
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,” Smith said.
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 game in September 2019.
“I feel really good about where I am. Optimistic and hopeful,” Smith said that day at FedEx Field.
“I’m feeling pretty good about the rest of my life,” Smith said. “Regardless of what happens with football.”
Alex Smith’s NFL 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.
In 2018, his first season with Washington, 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.
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