NFL quarterback Alex Smith and wife Elizabeth Smith opened up about his long journey back to good health on the recent ESPN documentary Project 11. During the rehab process, Elizabeth praised her husband’s determination noting the “mental fortitude of this man is unmatched” in a July 2019 Instagram post.
“The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy. Although it’s not over, today is a big milestone. We are shedding the weight Alex has been carrying (literally and figuratively). It’s one step closer to the goal. The resilience, determination and mental fortitude of this man is unmatched,” Elizabeth said on Instagram.
Alex fractured his leg in November 2018 and has undergone 18 surgeries since the initial injury, per NBC Sports’ Peter King. There was a point where it looked like Alex would lose his leg and potentially his life.
“My husband is laying there and he’s dying,” Elizabeth recalled in the documentary (via NBC Sports).
ESPN’s Stephania Bell discussed the couple’s decision to participate in the documentary and recall some of the very challenging moments since Alex’s 2018 injury.
“It’s a testament to Alex and to Elizabeth, and them being authentic,” Stephania noted to NBC Sports.
Elizabeth Accidentally Gave Alex Her Number When They Initially Met
The couple originally met through a mutual friend who ran into Elizabeth while he was out with Alex. The quarterback attempted to buy Elizabeth a drink, but she turned him down. Elizabeth was having a night out with some of her friends, but their mutual contact ended up giving Alex her number. Elizabeth did not know Alex had her number and recounted the story in an interview on In Depth With Graham Bensinger.
“He [their mutual friend] played matchmaker,” Elizabeth explained to Graham Bensinger. “It was really funny. Alex was a nice guy, but I was kind of in one of those, ‘Ah, I’m just here with my friend kind of night.’ He kind of came over to talk a couple times, and we didn’t really get a chance to talk. But my friend who I had run into and caught up with that night said, ‘Give me your number. Let’s chat. I’d love to catch up.’ So, I gave him my number and I left with my friend. And he, unbeknownst to me, went to Alex and said, ‘Here, she wants me to give you her number.’ So, he truly did play matchmaker.”
Alex later texted Elizabeth and she responded with surprise as to how he ended up with her contact information. The quarterback apologized but Elizabeth later called Alex feeling that her text message was unkind. The two ended up connecting over the phone and hitting it off despite Elizabeth’s initial resistance.
The Couple Is the Proud Parents of 3 Kids: Hayes, Hudson & Sloane
The couple has three kids together: Hayes, Hudson and Sloane. Alex and Elizabeth welcomed their youngest daughter, Sloane, to the world on February 4, 2016. Alex is continuing to attempt an NFL comeback, but it is clear to others that being a dad is his most important job description.
“I think there’s a part of him that really wants to prove it to himself, that he can do this again,” Stephania explained to NBC Sports Washington. “And he wouldn’t want to be out there as a token representation. He would only want to do it if he felt like he could compete.”