There was a point in time when it was thought that Alex Smith may never play in another football game. On Sunday, the 36-year-old Washington quarterback took the field for the first time in two years since a catastrophic leg injury.
After starting quarterback Kyle Allen went down in the second quarter following a helmet-to-helmet hit from Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Smith came in to replace him, making his first appearance since a gruesome injury on Nov. 18, 2018. Smith’s wife and kids were at the game to watch Smith’s return.
Allen was cleared for a return at halftime from an arm injury, but Ron Rivera told Fox’s Pam Oliver that Smith would play the rest of the game.
Smith, whom the Chiefs traded to Washington in January 2018, suffered a spiral and compound fracture to his tibia and fibula in his right leg when he was sacked by former Texans safety Kareem Jackson and current defensive end JJ Watt.
After Smith’s initial surgery, he developed life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis that resulted in sepsis. He had to undergo 17 surgeries across a period of nine months, with doctors suggesting that an amputation above the knee may be his only option. But doctors were able to perform skin grafts and an operation transferring muscle from his left quadriceps to save his leg.
Smith was cleared by doctors to resume football activities in July. Washington activated him on August 16. He was made the backup Sunday vs. the Rams after Ron Rivera demoted Dwayne Haskins from starter to third-string.
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