Alex Smith Cleared For Football Activity
After suffering a catastrophic right tibia and fibula fracture in Week 11 of the 2018 NFL season that nearly cost him his life, Washington's Alex Smith has received clearance from his surgical team to return to football activity.
ESPN's Stephania Bell first reported the news following a conversation she had with Smith on Friday.
"Everyone was in agreement that my bone was in a really good place," Smith told ESPN. "I had healed a lot. They said that given the combination of the rod and where I was with the healing process, I had zero limitations and could even resume some football activities."
The news comes less than three months after Smith was the subject of an ESPN E:60 documentary titled "Project 11," which detailed his long road to recovery from the gruesome injury.
(WARNING: This video contains extraordinarily graphic imagery.)
Smith is currently undergoing COVID-19 testing, per Bell, and is expected to report Monday to team facilities for the start of training camp, where he'll undergo a team physical.
According to ESPN NFL Nation reporter John Keim, Washington's medical team will also need to clear Smith for football activity before he can return to the football field.
This is indeed a massive step for Smith in his quest to return to the field and continue to play in the NFL.
"For me, all eyes are on practice," Smith told Bell. "That's the next step. I have to go prove to myself and certainly to everybody else that I can go practice."
Houston Texans All-Pro defensive end JJ Watt took to Twitter to celebrate the news of Smith being cleared to resume football activity. Watt, along with former Texans safety Kareem Jackson, combined to sack Smith on the play where he suffered the injury on Nov. 18, 2018.
This past May, Smith's wife Elizabeth shared a video of the 36-year-old QB working out on his birthday:
In February, Smith told ESPN's "Outside The Lines" he was "very much lucky to be alive" after he developed severe infection and sepsis.
He explained he had to choose between amputating the limb or trying to save it, which required additional surgeries before he was cleared of all infection.
The day prior to that interview, new Washington head coach Ron Rivera told reporters he didn't want to rule out Smith when discussing whether Dwayne Haskins was the team's presumed starting QB for 2020.
Rivera's comments might have seemed optimistic at the time, but now, Smith has taken another step closer toward an NFL return. The sports world is rooting for him.