Almost two years after suffering a compound fracture against the Houston Texans, Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith has been cleared to play football again, per reports.
He almost lost not only his leg, but his life. He was told he might never run again. But now, 22 months since he initially suffered his career-altering leg injury, Alex Smith is reportedly set to be cleared to play for the Washington Football Team once again.
The news has not yet been officially confirmed by the Washington Football Team, but NBC Sports Mid-Atlantic reporter J.P. Finlay has revealed that, according to sources close to the organization, there are plans to reinstate Smith off of the PUP list, effective immediately. Finlay also posted a video of Smith’s family celebrating the news.
The news comes after a whirlwind saga that started when Alex Smith had his leg caught and twisted between two Houston Texans defenders on November 18, 2018. Smith was immediately carted off the field to have emergency surgery. From that surgery spawned a life-threatening infection that demanded 17 more surgeries, in order to expel it from Smith’s system.
Once the virus was gone, Smith’s leg was in shambles, and amputation was a considered option, as vital components had been damaged. But Smith had a crazy thought instead: He wanted to play football again.
Doctors helped reconstruct Smith’s leg, and over time, Smith committed to an arduous re-training process. Learning to walk again wasn’t enough, however; he’d have to master running at full speed, as well as grow comfortable with the footwork of throwing once again, where the quarterback must plant on the favored foot.
It seemed to be an insurmountable challenge. But now, less than two years later, Smith appears as close as he’s ever been to making it back. Washington may stash him as a backup for the time being, until he has more time to use his leg in full football activities, but Ron Rivera has said that Smith will be treated like any other player if he’s healthy, and he’ll be allowed to compete.
Update: Smith has officially been removed from the PUP list, per the Washington Football Team’s official Twitter account.
Whatever Smith’s role is from this point on, one thing is certain: When he steps on FedEx Field again, either for a kneel down or a relieving role, he’ll be met with cheers on both sides.