Washington's Alex Smith Couldn't Look at Leg for 'Long, Long Time' After Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

Washington quarterback Alex Smith (11) walks to practice at the team's NFL football training facility, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith said Wednesday it took a while before he could look at his right leg after he suffered a serious injury against the Houston Texans in November 2018.

"It took a long, long time before I could even look at my leg," Smith told reporters.

In February, Smith told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap in an Outside The Lines interview he developed sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition related to the body fighting infections, and was forced to decide whether to amputate the leg or go through further procedures to save it.

"I had a pretty serious infection ... they had a lot of complications with it," he said.

The 36-year-old Washington native told Schaap his focus for much of the past two years was more about ensuring he could lead a normal life—"my ability to walk normal, to ever play with my kids, to ever go on a hike, go on a walk with my wife, hiking, skiing"—and less about football.

Smith added he's "very much lucky to be alive."

The team announced Sunday he'd been activated from the physically unable to perform list, making him eligible to participate in training camp ahead of the 2020 season.

"I know if I can go out there and play quarterback, I can do anything else in life," Smith told Julie Donaldson of the team's website Monday. "This is one of the hardest jobs in sports, and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to put that jersey on the last two days and go out there and try and do it."

Smith is competing with projected starter Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen for a spot on the depth chart heading into the 2020 season. He owns a career 87.3 passer rating across 13 seasons with Washington, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, who selected him with the first pick in the 2005 draft.

The team is scheduled to open the regular season Sept. 13 when it hosts the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field.