According to ESPN’s Stephania Bell, Washington quarterback Alex Smith has been cleared for full activity by his doctors. With training camps getting underway next week, Smith, who suffered a tibia and fibula fracture during the 2018 season, is nearing a return to football after undergoing 17 surgeries to repair his leg.
Smith, 36, is completing his COVID-19 testing and will report to training camp on Monday along with the team’s other quarterbacks, Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen. Smith must undergo a physical with the team’s medical staff and hopes to begin football activities shortly after.
“Everyone was in agreement that my bone was in a really good place. I had healed a lot. They said that given the combination of the rod and where I was with the healing process, I had zero limitations and could even resume some football activities,” Smith told Bell.
“To hear them say that from a life standpoint, they wouldn’t restrict me from doing anything — I could go skiing or snowboarding tomorrow if I wanted — then on top of that, to get the green light that I could practice, get contact, that I had healed up, that much was pretty wild to hear. I didn’t know if I would ever hear those words.”
“For me, all eyes are on practice,” Smith continued. “That’s the next step. I have to go prove to myself and certainly to everybody else that I can go practice.
Smith is entering the second season in his four-year, $94 million contract and stands to make a salary of $16 million in the 2020 season.
It’s been just over 600 days since Smith suffered the horrific leg injury, but before long, he could be back in football pads, with his teammates, playing the game he loves.
But first things first, once Smith is in the building, the team is expected to determine the next steps for his eventual participation in training camp. What this means for Washington going forward is unknown; they already have Haskins and Allen.
One thing in Smith’s favor is the fact that there’s a new coaching staff. Ron Rivera and co. saw some of Allen but has not yet witnessed Haskins, so the starting job could be anyone’s at the start of camp.
There was much doubt that the 13-year veteran and former 2005 No. 1 overall pick would ever play football again after a life-threatening infection, several surgeries, and a lengthy rehab that followed.
Smith spent seven seasons in San Francisco, then five with the Chiefs. He was traded to Washington to pave the way for the Patrick Mahomes era to begin in Kansas City.
Smith has compiled over 34,000 career passing yards and 193 touchdowns. In his five seasons with the Chiefs, Smith led the team to the postseason four times.
At the very least, this is a much-needed aspect of positivity in Washington after the name change and the antics behind the scenes that have come to light.