Redskins QB Alex Smith Say He's 'Lucky to Be Alive' After Leg Injury, Infection

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2020

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Alex Smith #11 of the Washington Redskins runs the ball during the game against the Houston Texans at FedExField on November 18, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. The Texans won 23-21. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has opened up about the leg injury he suffered during the 2018 season and the impact it had on his body.

Appearing on ESPN's Outside the Lines (h/t ESPN's Stephania Bell), Smith said he is "very much lucky to be alive" after the injury and infection he contracted due to post-surgery complications. 

Smith suffered a compound and spiral fracture to his tibia and fibula in his right leg when he was sacked by Kareem Jackson and J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans on Nov. 18, 2018.

Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport last July that Smith came "very, very close to losing his leg."

Speaking to reporters in October, Smith revealed he had 17 different surgeries on his leg as a result of the injury and infections. 

"I had a pretty serious infection ... they had a lot of complications with it. ... [the] next thing I remember is waking up several weeks later faced with the decision of amputation or limb salvage at that point," Smith told Outside the Lines

Now that Smith has made it out of the horror of that situation, he does intend to try playing in the NFL next season: "I need to prove that I can come back and play quarterback in the NFL, and if I can do that, that would be great and it'll get figured out."

New Washington head coach Ron Rivera told Doc and Galdi of The Team 980 he is thinking about the possibility of having Smith available for the team's quarterback competition in 2020. 

Smith is under contract with the Redskins next season with a $21.4 million cap hit. Dwayne Haskins, the No. 15 pick in the 2019 NFL draft, finished 2019 as their starting quarterback. Backups Colt McCoy and Case Keenum are set to become free agents in March. 

Before getting injured, Smith led Washington to a 6-4 record in 2018. The 35-year-old threw for 2,180 yards with 10 touchdowns and completed 62.5 percent of his passes in 10 starts.