Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has not played the game of football since Nov. 18, 2018, the day he suffered a spiral and compound fracture on his right tibia and fibula in a game against the Texans.
The injury not only forced his hospitalization for a month — and eight more months of recovery — but also required 17 surgeries to repair. Smith, who said there was a genuine fear he would have to amputate his leg, said he was lucky to be alive.
While those details certainly paint a harrowing picture of his ordeal, none of it compares to the actual photo of his post-surgery leg — one that will air in a Friday E:60 documentary detailing Smith’s injury and rehab. That photo leaked to social media on Tuesday, illustrating in gruesome detail the lengths he went through just to recover.
(Sporting News will not embed the photo, but it’s linked here).
Smith said he knew immediately the impact of his injury when he looked down and saw “my leg wasn’t straight.” It forced Smith to miss the entirety of the 2019 season, though he has said he’s still hopeful he can return to play in the NFL.
“I’m still determined (to play), still marching down the road, still optimistic,” Smith said. “I want to push it, for the challenge’s sake. I want to see what I’ve got. … I enjoy the challenge, even to this (recovery), coming out here and being with the guys.”
If Smith is able to return to the field, it may be one of the most amazing feats in NFL history.