Former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith didn’t complete one season with the Washington Redskins before enduring a season-ending and possibly career-ending leg injury in his first season with the team.
A year and a half after that gruesome game against the Houston Texans, a new ESPN documentary is detailing the 35-year-old’s recovery, including a leg infection that required 17 surgeries to fix. Check out the teaser below in which he describes how doctors had to move several bones from various parts of his body to replace the broken ones from his leg.
WARNING: This video features footage that some may consider graphic.
In February, Smith told ESPN that he was preparing to get discharged from the hospital around Thanksgiving 2018 after a “great” operation when he became septic and the infection spread to his blood.
The Utah product told the network’s Jeremy Schaap, “… [the] next thing I remember is waking up several weeks later faced with the decision of amputation or limb salvage at that point.”
The father of three ultimately decided to save his leg, which led to the double-digit surgeries and an extended recovery period. Nonetheless, he offered nothing but praise to the medical team that ultimately cared for him and continue caring for him to this day.
“[I’m] so thankful for everyone that’s had a hand in this,” he said. “My wife, kids, and family and doctors and nurses and PTs and trainers and so many people that have helped me to be sitting here.”
The documentary is scheduled to premiere on ESPN Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Could Smith Suit up for the Redskins in the Future?
On March 14, 2018, Smith signed a four-year, $94 million contract with the Redskins, with an impressive $27 million signing bonus. The former first overall pick’s contract lasts through the 2022 season, which ESPN notes will count $21.4 million against the salary cap in 2020. While he notes there’s not a definitive yes he’ll return to the field, he’s nonetheless ready for the challenge.
“There’s enough there that I can go out there and play … Knowing that, yeah, failure is a possibility … I need to prove that I can come back and play quarterback in the NFL, and if I can do that, that would be great and it’ll get figured out,” he told ESPN.
New Washington head coach Ron Rivera didn’t rule out a possibility of his return either, telling NBC Sports Washington in January that he doesn’t want to “forget” him in the QB competition with Dwayne Haskins, who Smith has been mentoring and who is entering his sophomore campaign.
“I also don’t want to forget Alex Smith,” Rivera said. “Here’s a guy that’s doing everything he can to come back, and if Alex can come back and be the player that he was we have a good situation, we have competition at that position.”
As for Mr. Showtime himself, Patrick Mahomes says there’s no love lost between him and Smith, saying the former Chiefs franchise slinger taught him “valuable” lessons during his rookie year in Kansas City.
“It gave me a blueprint, and it was something that helped me out a lot early in my career,” Mahomes said on January 28 ahead of Super Bowl LIV in Miami. “Just knowing what film I need to watch on what day and how to go out there and practice the right way.”
In his final season at Arrowhead, Smith led the Chiefs to a 12-4 record and a trip to the divisional round in the playoffs.
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