Many thought it would never happen, but nearly two years since a devastating leg injury sidelined him from the NFL, Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith made his triumphant return Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field. The last time the former No. 1 overall pick suited up for the burgundy and gold was against the Houston Texans in November 2018.
Check out the 36-year-old’s first completion here:
Starting quarterback Kyle Allen endured a helmet-to-helmet hit against Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, resulting in an arm injury. Smith, who was on the sidelines warming up, took his place. His family could be seen in the crowds cheering on the former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback.
Though Chiefs fans were busy watching the reigning world champions play the Las Vegas Raiders, they couldn’t help but send an incredible amount of support to their former play caller, who served a great mentor to Patrick Mahomes during his rookie campaign in 2017.
As the fanbase made clear: Once a Chief, always a Chief and easily this season’s recipient of comeback player of the year.
Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid Celebrated His Return in August
When news broke in August that Smith was officially activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list, Mahomes and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid both had nothing but praise for their former colleague.
“I’m so happy for him,” Reid said, via Sports Illustrated. “I know how he is — he’s dirty tough and he loves playing the game. He didn’t want to end the way it ended with the leg, so now he’s back. We all saw the special on him and the rehab that he went through, that day in and day out grind of the rehab, so I’m happy for him. I’m very, very happy for him, and I’m happy for the Washington team too.”
“It’s an amazing thing,” Mahomes added. “I talked to Alex – I texted Alex before the season got going, before training camp got going, him just being there and him just being able to get cleared by his doctors and now getting cleared by the Washington doctors and being able to go out there and be able to perform. It just shows the grit that he has, and I mean, he’s someone that has helped me out a ton in my career and he’s always persevered and I just expect him to keep persevering as his career goes on.”
In case you never witnessed everything Smith has endured on his journey to rehabilitation, check out this trailer from ESPN’s E60: Project 11, which chronicled the Washington-born star’s 17 surgeries and subsequent physical therapy.
A comeback moment indeed.