Alex Smith on Return to NFL After Leg Injury: 'That's the Plan'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

Washington Redskins free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (20) consoles quarterback Alex Smith (11) after Smith's leg injury during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Mark Tenally/Associated Press

Seven months after suffering a career-threatening leg injury (broken tibia and fibula in his right leg), Washington quarterback Alex Smith still has his sights set on playing football again as he continues the rehab process.

"That's the plan. That's the plan," Smith told Angie Goff of Fox 5 DC (around the 5:45 mark). "Steps. I gotta conquer some more steps before I get there, but yeah. ... The steps I'm at right now are lifestyle steps." 

He also discussed some of the obstacles he still must face: "Learn to run again. I'm already throwing. I already feel like throwing's not a problem. I feel like I can throw, but dropping, moving around, all that kind of stuff, moving directions."

The road to recovery has been difficult.

Smith went down in a Nov. 18 loss to the Houston Texans. He then experienced a post-procedure infection in December.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported in January the team did not expect Smith to play in 2019. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora wrote in March, meanwhile, that it was "unlikely" Smith would ever play again.

The 35-year-old Smith told Goff that he's "excited" for the challenge of trying to return to football, adding he continues to work with a physical therapist. The 6'4", 213-pound signal-caller admitted there are times he still does not trust his leg, though he continues to make progress both physically and mentally.

Washington acquired veteran Case Keenum in March and used the 15th overall pick in April's draft on Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. Meanwhile, Colt McCoy remains in the mix following a serious leg injury of his own.

Smith signed a four-year, $94 million extension in January 2018, a deal that included $71 million in guaranteed money, after being traded to Washington last year.