Alex Smith is arguably one of the best quarterbacks to have graced the gridiron. The Bremerton-born player came to the limelight while playing for Utah Utes in his college days at the University of Utah. In 2004, a younger Smith donned the number 11 jersey for the Utes. Driven by his talent, love, and passion for the game, he emerged fourth in voting for the Heisman Trophy but was selected Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. That same year, most American football lovers and commentators tipped the bright lad as “The Future of American Football”.
He is indeed a protege who has a chance to leave his footprints in the sands of time and reckon with the greats in the game. Considering this, it did not come much as a surprise when he led his team to victory against Pittsburgh at the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, finishing in the national top five.
How He Began His Professional Career
His growth, success, and consistency during his college career no doubt earned him a deal with the San Francisco 49ers which eventually became the dawn of his professional career. During his six-year stint with the team, Alex Douglas Smith would go on to win the NFC West Division title, the club’s first in years and also lead them to their first playoff victory since 2002 which automatically saw them make their first NFC championship game appearance since 1997. Notably, these years did not go without its shortcomings and challenges for the player who suffered some setback injuries, including sustaining a concussion that affected his form badly. However, in the 2012 season, he was employed by the Kansas City Chiefs and this marked a new phase for a struggling Smith.
Apparently, his time with Kansas City Chiefs is regarded as the peak of his career. This is because, between the 2012 and 2017 seasons, the side achieved monumental success in American football. He guided them to their first playoff since 1994, an eleven winning streak in 2015. Also, he came top in the league passer rating and was named to three Pro Bowls. To crown it all, he was recognized as the 81st best player by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players between 2016 and 2017. Once again, his consistency and improvement brought various teams on his radar, but it was the Washington Redskins that he decided to pitch his tent with, signing a four-year contract for the next phase of his career.
What Happened to Alex Smith?
Alex Smith’s arrival to Washington for the Redskins was more like a homecoming for the Bremerton-born. His four-year contract extension was recorded at a whopping $94 million. His numbers of 255 passing yards and two touchdowns on his debut, as well as a win against the Arizona Cardinals, prove that he was worth every dime. He would go on to lead the Redskins to a 6-3 record in their first nine games in the 2018 season until tragedy struck the number 11 in week 11. It was a cold November in Washington for the Redskins, as they went against the Houston Texans in a game which would turn out badly for their pivotal quarterback when he collided against this duo; Kareem Jackson and J.J. Watt, his opponents.
A rough day with history, one would say! This is because, 33 years back, on November 18, 1985, Joe Theismann, a former Redskins quarterback suffered the same fate. Unfortunately for Alex Smith, a compound and spiral fracture to his tibia and fibula of his right leg only meant one thing, he was to sit out the season in a hospital.
Consequently, it was revealed that Alex suffered post-surgery complications, including staphylococcal infection, with him having multiple procedures to remove infected tissue. Thus, an external fixation device was installed on his leg to aid the healing process.
How Is Alex Smith Doing After His Injury?
Since November 2018 when his career was left in jeopardy, the tendency of his return continues to seem unlikely. However, on October 15, 2019, Smith disclosed that he has had 17 surgeries to repair the damages. Still, it seems the Redskins had dashed any hopes of a possible Smith return as they went ahead to recruit Dwayne Haskins as his replacement and even placed Alex on its list of players who are physically unable to perform. But, there is something motivating and courageous about the whole scenario, the fact that the injured player has not lost faith in himself.
During a sit-down interview with Larry Michael of the Voice of the Redskins, he made his desire to return to the NFL known. Alex Smith disclosed that he was doing well and very optimistic about returning to the NFL. Relating that he never imagined the injury would take him out for so long, he hinted that he had no doubt about playing again. So, hopefully, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the quarterback.