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Quarterback Alex Smith returned to the field on Sunday for the first time in nearly two years 

By Ally Mauch
October 11, 2020 07:00 PM
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Alex Smith

Alex Smith is back!

The Washington Football Team quarterback returned to the field on Sunday for the first time since 2018, when he suffered a life-threatening leg injury.

Smith, 36, entered the game against the Los Angeles Rams after starting quarterback Kyle Allen was hurt and escorted to the trainer's tent. Though Allen was cleared to play for the second half of the game, Smith remained in through the end of the 30-10 loss.

As the athlete made his triumphant return to the field, his wife and three children gave him a sweet standing ovation.

Alex Smith
Alex Smith's family cheers him on during Sunday's game
Alex Smith

Smith was first injured in November 2018, breaking the fibula and tibia in his right leg during a game against the Houston Texans. He immediately underwent surgery, but then got an infection that could have led to an amputation, according to ESPN.

In all, the injury required 17 surgeries and a titanium rod was eventually inserted into the hurt leg. Smith was cleared for the 2020 season on July 25, ESPN reported. Then, about a month later, he was told he could return to full football activity.

His recovery from the gruesome injury was documented in Project 11, an hour-long documentary that aired in May.

“No NFL player has ever been through what Alex Smith has,” executive producer Andy Tennant said, according to CNN. “He's normally a very private person but he wanted to document his road to recovery as well and as detailed as possible, with the hope that future players could use it as a road map.”

Fans and fellow athletes reacted to Smith’s return to the game on social media Sunday, with San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer writing, “Alex Smith you’re a beast!”

Analyst and former NFL player Pat McAfee said in his own tweet, “Alex Smith just played football in the NFL again.... absolutely INSANE.”

“Alex Smith completes his first pass attempt. Seriously - I don’t care what happens the rest of the season. He should be come back player of the year and they should name the award after him,” ESPN analyst Matthew Berry added.