Former Utah QB Alex Smith Details NFL Comeback During 60 Minutes Interview
Jan 17, 2021, 9:07 PM
Alex Smith #11 of the Washington Football Team talks with head coach Ron Rivera before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at FedExField on October 11, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah Utes and current Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith detailed his comeback from a brutal 2018 leg injury during an interview with 60 Minutes.
Smith discussed his comeback during a discussion with 60 Minutes’ Norah O’Donnell on Sunday, January 17.
In November 2018, the former Utah star suffered a season-ending leg injury that prevented him from playing the following season and nearly took not only his leg but his life.
“I think there were a lot of people outside of the medical experts that didn’t agree with it, didn’t understand it,” Smith told O’Donnell. “Why would I be doing this at my age, and this point in life, and everything I’d been through.”
After the Washington Football Team’s Alex Smith suffered a compound spiral fracture during a 2018 game, his wife says in the ambulance he wanted updates on the game: “He was not even worried about his leg whatsoever. He was worried about his team.” https://t.co/eFBFXj5jXmpic.twitter.com/Am2wBcJ1Uq
“Early on I was supportive. I realized that he needed something to work towards,” Alex’s wife, Elizabeth Smith said. “I know that football is his life. So why not let him pursue that? Never thinking in a million years that we would actually be on that front doorstep in making that decision….”
With stage two sepsis, a spiking fever, and a severe bacterial infection in his injured leg, Washington QB Alex Smith’s life was in danger. Doctors said an amputation might be needed, but Smith wanted to fight to keep it, and had 8 surgeries in 10 days. https://t.co/DU7erx2s1Upic.twitter.com/cv7ckHcn4e
“It took a lot of time… but in the end, I realized that it was worth it to Alex,” Elizabeth Smith explained. “I never wanted him to have any regret.”
After a severe leg fracture and subsequent life-threatening infection, Washington QB Alex Smith re-learned to walk, run, and eventually move like a quarterback again with the help of thousands of hours of PT, various braces and orthotics. https://t.co/3XBvk4odKipic.twitter.com/GOyvZ75C6w
“Butterflies, energy, you know going out there, certainly some anxiety…. just because of all the unknowns and what we’ve been through and the ramifications,” Alex Smith said.
This past summer, after 17 surgeries and 20 months out of the game undergoing intense physical therapy, Alex Smith was medically cleared to rejoin the Washington Football Team, even though his tibia bone was not yet 100% healed. https://t.co/ePZ5SzFJKHpic.twitter.com/pVRGslCF5w
“Part of it was a blur, but I remember when he took that first hit…I mean you stand up, you’re at the edge of your seat, and he gets right back up and he has a huge smile on his face,” Elizabeth Smith said. “I’m like ‘why’re you smiling right now?’ And it was like he knew…he knew in that moment, ‘I can do this.'”
“I didn't know whether I wanted to cheer or throw up. It scared me to death, but I just loved watching Alex achieve,” says Army surgeon Dr. Joe Alderete about watching quarterback Alex Smith play in his first game since his injury. https://t.co/ZlWEgW9SrRpic.twitter.com/N3ODqwA62S