Quarterback Alex Smith turned 36 years old on Thursday, and from the looks of this new video, could be ready to make a triumphant return to the NFL. Celebrating her husband of 11 years on Instagram, Smith’s wife Liz posted a glowing tribute to the Washington Redskins star and shared an impressive new video of him running drills and throwing long passes.
Her caption reads: “Happy Happy Birthday to this handsome, hard working man. The last week we’ve been overwhelmed with love, support and sweet messages. We cannot thank you enough. #project11 was a look into what the last 18 months have been (mostly Alex refusing to give up). I am in awe of his perseverance everyday. He just keeps getting stronger and refuses to give up… Forever grateful.”
Smith is still wearing a brace of sorts on his right leg, indicating that his continued rehabilitation stemming from a devastating leg injury he suffered in November 2018 against the Houston Texans. The road to his recovery was chronicled by ESPN in a recent special that showed the Utah product’s leg after undergoing 17 surgeries.
Nonetheless, it’s great to the see the former first overall pick moving in a way reminiscent of his playing days.
Smith Opens up About Former Teammate Kaepernick
Considering they were teammates during his days with the San Francisco 49ers, Smith and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick developed quite the relationship. Speaking on behalf of the individual who eventually took over for him in the Bay Area, Smith told ESPN’s Dan Le Betard recently it was “absurd” that Kaep is still unemployed three seasons after kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality in 2016.
“It was hard to kind of see that trajectory because he was playing so good, and doing things nobody had done,” the former Kansas City Chiefs slinger said. “I think he still holds the single-game rushing record for a quarterback. It was crazy.
“So with that said, it was so absurd — I think equally — that it was only a few years later when you’re like, ‘This guy doesn’t have a job.’ That was hard to imagine. It still is, a guy with his ability and his trajectory that all of a sudden wasn’t playing.”
As a result of his protest, Kaepernick was blackballed from the league and ultimately filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing owners and executives of colluding against him to keep him from paying professional football. Eventually, both sides agreed to an undisclosed settlement and Kaepernick officially withdrew his grievance in February 2019.