National Football League
Alex Smith Returns to Practice
National Football League

Alex Smith Returns to Practice

Updated Aug. 16, 2020 5:45 p.m. ET

Alex Smith has taken the next step in an incredible comeback, as the Washington Football Team officially activated the quarterback off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Sunday.

Now a fully active player, Smith took part in Washington's practice Sunday.

Smith has been out of action for 21 months, following a horrific leg injury where he broke both the tibia and fibula in his right leg. A resulting infection caused major complications, and doctors feared not only for Smith's career, but for his life.

A determined Smith fought against the odds, with the goal of returning in the field in 2020. Here's what the 36-year-old had to say at the end of last season:


"I still have dreams of getting back to where I was and getting back out there. This has been, obviously, a crazy ride with a lot of unforeseen turns, but without a doubt that's still my goal."

Another major step toward that goal has been taken, and his family celebrated the milestone in the best way possible ⁠— a surprise champagne shower.

Now the question for Smith becomes, how does he fit into the quarterback competition in Washington?

The team drafted Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft and traded a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for Kyle Allen.

Earlier this month, new Washington head coach Ron Rivera indicated Smith will be in the mix.

"The big thing is if he can do the things that we need him to do that he needs to do to help himself on the football field, he'll be part of the conversation most definitely."

And according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Washington is "ecstatic" with Smith's progress, but plans to be very cautious with the quarterback.

The first overall pick in the 2005 draft, Smith boasts more experience than all of the other quarterbacks on Washington's roster combined by a long shot. 

As he returned to practice Sunday, it's doubtful he'll be content just going through the motions. He'll be angling to start Week 1 for Washington.


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