LOCALS IN THE NFL

Washington Football Team QB Alex Smith Takes Practice Field For First Time Since 2018

Aug 16, 2020, 2:37 PM
Alex Smith - Washington Football Team...
Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) waves to fans as he goes to the morning practice during training camp in 2018. (Photo by: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah Utes and current Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith took the practice field for the first time since suffering a significant leg injury during the 2018 NFL season.

Washington officially activated Smith off the team’s physically unable to perform list on Sunday, August 16.

Shortly after Smith’s move to Washington’s active roster, the quarterback took the practice field alongside his teammates.

One day before Smith’s activation off Washington’s PUP list, the QB’s wife, Elizabeth, posted a video of the Smith family celebrating the next step in the former Ute’s return to the practice.

“Hard work pays off! Lots to celebrate in the Smith house tonight,” Elizabeth said alongside the Instagram video post.

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 former Utah signal-caller 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 QB 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, Smith experienced 17 surgeries.

Alex Smith’s NFL Career

Smith has played in the NFL since 2005. The former Mountain West Conference Player of the Year 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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