Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith get really close to losing his right leg during a match-up against the Houston Texans on November 18, 2018. After being taken down in an awkward fashion, Smith suffered a compound fracture of his right tibia and a fractured right fibula. Smith revealed in an interview with ESPN's Outside The Lines, that he did not only almost lose his leg, but he's very much lucky to be alive.
After the incident, Smith was reportedly having severe complications after the initial surgery. It appeared that he was more and more likely to lose his leg. It was then reported than Smith endured 17 surgeries.
Days after the surgery, a picture of Smith's infected leg was aired on ESPN Monday as part of a promo for the E:60 documentary, premiering on Friday, and it shows how severe the infection was.
Alex Smith’s leg 4 days after his injury...... pic.twitter.com/HKqunt0bQP — Jordan (@redskinstoday_) April 27, 2020
Smith developed sepsis, which is a potentially life-threatening condition that happens when the body is fighting infection. He said that he has limited memories during those stages of uncertainty since he was under heavy sedation, but he remembers making the decision to try to save his leg.
According to Smith the next thing he remembered was waking up several weeks later faced with the decision of amputation or limb salvage at that point.
The decision of saving his leg required more procedures, then he was finally cleared of all infection. Smith was placed in an external fixator, which he was attached to for a number of months.
During his first public interview last June, Smith said that he got a crazy contraption on his leg that comes from Siberia. He added that the contraption is going to save his leg and bone, and will allow him to heal, walk again, and will hopefully allow him to play football again.
Smith spent his past 13 months in rehab but has a renewed spirit after almost losing it all. Smith has never wavered in his drive to return to the field.
As stated by Smith, there is enough there that he can go out there and play. Knowing that failure is a possibility, he said that he needs to prove that he can come back and play quarterback in the NFL, and if he can do, it would be great and will be figured out.
Before he suffered his leg injury, the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft headed the Redskins to a 6-3 record. After Smith went down, Colt MacCoy was unable to will Washington to victory against the Texans and the Redskins would lose five out of their last six games to close out the 2018 season. With Smith under center, the Redskins were in the first place in the NFC. And after he went down, Washington fell apart. In 2019, the Redskins went 3-13, and Jay Gruden, the head coach was fired during the season.
With Ron Rivera, new head coach, and quarterback Dwayne Haskins, there is still hope for the future, but it remains to be seen where Smith fits in, and if he will be able to repossess the field at some point.