Alex Smith will not return to play this season as he recovers from multiple leg injuries. There is a chance Smith could recover in time for the start of the 2019 NFL season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the surgeons discovered the injury was worse than the team initially expected.
“Alex Smith suffered a compound fracture – meaning the bone broke through his skin, per source. Trauma surgeons discovered Smith suffered a spiral fracture in his leg – defined as a long bone broken by a rotational force. Smith, 34, faces a lengthy rehab process to try to return,” Schefter tweeted.
According to NBC Sports Washington, Smith has a return timeline of six to eight months. This means Smith’s recovery will be bumping up against 2019 training camp and the start of the Redskins preseason. Smith suffered a broken tibia and fibula per The Washington Post.
Alex Smith’s Return Timeline is 6 to 8 Months
The injury was so gruesome CBS opted not to show the play again after the first replay.
“It’s a philosophy thing,” CBS producer Harold Bryant told The Washington Post. “It’s a horrific injury, and we described it in-depth and documented it, and as a group we felt that was enough. We made a judgment call and felt it was documented properly. You could see the anguish on his face and on the players’ faces…It’s something we have discussions about. How we’re going to cover these moments, and on Sunday, the preparation kicked into action — unfortunately. If people want to go find video of something like that, they can find it.”
According to Fox 5, Smith underwent successful surgery on November 18, the same day the injury occurred. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden noted everything has gone smoothly so far even though the Redskins quarterback has a long recovery ahead.
“I know it was very painful for him and heartbreaking for a lot of people,” Gruden told Fox 5. “He’s a great guy and hard worker and one of the key leaders on this football team. These things happen in pro football, unfortunately. Just hate to see them happen with a guy like Alex.”
Washington traded for Smith this off-season after deciding not to re-sign Kirk Cousins. According to Spotrac, Smith recently signed a 4-year, $94 million deal and is under contract through 2022. Once Smith returns to health, he is expected to be the Redskins quarterback for the foreseeable future.
While Smith is expected to make a full recovery, the Redskins quarterback is protected if there is complications with his rehab. Yahoo Sports detailed Smith’s $71 million injury guarantee.
The contract extension Smith signed after being traded from Washington had a total injury guarantee of $71 million. He’ll make every penny of that even if he can’t continue to play.
Although, at the time of signing, only the amounts that are fully guaranteed matter, the injury guarantee provides security against a worst-case scenario that rarely happens.
For Smith, that may not happen; he may be good to go by next year. But if for some reason he’s not, he’ll get the full $71 million.