Monday marked one year since Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffered a traumatic leg injury that ended his season and probably his playing career. To commemorate the anniversary of that horrifying incident, Smith’s wife Elizabeth posted a moving tribute to her personal Instagram account loaded with photos and videos of her husband’s recovery process.
The caption reads, “November 18th… 1 Year and so much to be grateful for.” The video chronicles Smith’s path to rehabilitation starting with him getting carted off FedEx Field last November and finishing with the father of three sprinting on a treadmill.
Smith’s Injury Shocked the Internet
Sports enthusiasts are no strangers to witnessing devastating injuries that shocked the world. Smith’s injury should certainly be included in the ranks of one of the worsts to have occurred in the era of social media.
On a third and nine play against the Houston Texans, the 35-year-old was sacked by safety Kareem Jackson, then defensive end J.J. Watt rolled over him. Smith broke his tibula and fibula, requiring multiple surgeries. Smith consequently picked up a leg infection as a result of his operation, extending his hospital stay further.
Over the course of his recovery, the former Kansas City Chief spent time in a wheelchair and donned an external fixator — a large metal external device connected to his bone that stabilized the leg — for seven months. He was pictured moving about with crutches and walkers as his leg healed as well.
Could Smith Return to the Field?
Smith has largely remained out of the public eye since the incident occurred, but revealed his intentions to play again in an August interview with Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael.
“Without a doubt,” he affirmed. “Just for the challenge sake, and for life. I still feel like I’m young at heart and got a lot left ahead of me. I want to take that on.”
In October, the Washington state native was spotted launching deep balls at a Redskins practice facility.
“He’s been throwing for some time now. I think it’s been a progression that he’s built up,” Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan said, via The Washington Post. “He hasn’t just come out there and started throwing 50-yard bombs.
“As a competitor, wanting to get back on the field again and wanting to play again after what he’s gone through, the trauma that he’s gone through, it speaks volumes for his passion and for his will.”
Despite keeping a low profile over the last year, Smith still remains a pivotal figure as a member of the Redskins, serving as a mentor to the quarterbacks tasked with bringing a competitive spirit back to this franchise.
The number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Smith understands the perseverance one must need in order to succeed in the league. Whether we see him suit up in a Redskins jersey again or not, there’s no denying just how hard Smith has worked over the last 365 days mentally, emotionally and especially physically.