Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith is set to return to the NFL after undergoing 17 surgeries since November 2018 as the team has activated him off the physically unable to perform list. Back in November 2018 -- in a game against the Houston Texans -- Smith suffered one of the most gruesome injuries ever seen on a football field as he broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg -- the bone protrude through the skin.
Smith suffered an infection, required 17 surgeries to repair the damage and almost had to have his leg amputated. Joe Theismann, the 1983 NFL MVP, suffered the same injury in 1985 and he couldn't he happier to see Smith return to action.
"He has gone through a lot more than I had to go through," Theismann told ESPN. "For me it was a question of the leg healing and then trying to do certain things required of the quarterback position. Alex came within 24 hours of losing his leg.
I didn't wind up with complications; he wound up with a tremendous amount of complications. It wasn't just healing from a broken leg. The mountain he had to climb is so much greater.
Theismann says Smith has already won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award
"No matter what happens he's already won the award for comeback player of the year," Theismann claimed.
Three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Smith is 36 years and Theismann hopes he has a few more years left in the NFL. "You might say medical advancements but ... it was a different era of football," he said. "If you were 35 in 1985 they couldn't get you out the door quick enough.
Now if you're 35 and you can play the game decently, you've got a three- to four-year career ahead of you. "I was able to do [anything] two years after, but I was 37." Smith played for five seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs before he signed with Washington.
"Yeah, how great is that? I'm so happy for him. 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," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Smith.