Alex Smith’s return to the soccer discipline in 2020 from a life-threatening leg injury was one of many best tales of the NFL season. But Smith stated his triumphant return was thought of extra of an undesirable hindrance by the Washington Football Team.
Smith, in a Tuesday interview with GQ Magazine, stated he threw a “wrench” within the WFT’s quarterback plans, including that the staff was shocked that he might play after returning from a Nov. 18, 2018 injury: a compound fracture that broke each the tibia and fibula in his proper leg. A life-threatening an infection made issues worse and almost compelled medical doctors to amputate his leg above the knee.
Smith returned to Washington earlier than the beginning of the 2020 season however felt he wasn’t given a “fair shake” as first-year coach Ron Rivera emphasised second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins because the staff’s starter.
“When I decided to come back, I definitely threw a wrench in the team’s plan,” Smith instructed GQ. “They didn’t see it, didn’t want me there, didn’t want me to be a part of it, didn’t want me to be on the team, the roster, didn’t want to give me a chance. Mind you, it was a whole new regime, they came in, I’m like the leftovers and I’m hurt and I’m this liability.
“Heck no, they didn’t want me there. At that time, as you may think about, every part I’d been by way of, I could not have cared much less about all that. Whether you prefer it or not, I’m giving this a go at this level.”
Smith said the team initially tried to place him on Injured Reserve before final roster cuts, which would have ended any hope of a 2020 comeback. Instead, he opened camp on the team’s physically unable to perform list until Aug. 16. Even then, Smith said, he was not allowed to participate in 11-on-11 full-padded workouts until late in training camp — and only then after he prodded coaches to give him a chance.
“I felt like I nonetheless hadn’t had my honest shake at that time,” Smith said. “I wished to see if I might play quarterback and play soccer, and I really feel like I hadn’t been given that chance but to seek out that out. It’s like getting this near the top line of a marathon they usually’re telling you that you could’t end the race. It’s like, ‘f— that. I’m ending this factor. At least I’m going to see if I can.’ So, I’m grateful we labored by way of all that stuff however no, it wasn’t like open arms coming again after two years.”
Smith opened as the team’s No. 3 quarterback for the first four games of the season before Rivera opted to bench Haskins (89 of 146 passes, 939 yards, four touchdowns, three interceptions, 13 sacks). Smith, then the primary backup, saw his first action in Week 5 after starter Kyle Allen exited the game with a concussion. He completed 9 of 17 passes for 37 yards in the 30-10 loss.
Smith didn’t register stats again until four weeks later, completing 24 of 32 passes for 325 yards and one touchdown to three interceptions in a 23-20 loss to the Giants. The following week, he earned his first start, leading the team to four wins in five games. He suffered a bone bruise in a Dec. 13 win over San Francisco, but returned in the final regular-season game to lead the team to a playoff-clinching win over the Eagles. He did not play in the team’s wild-card loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay; Rivera instead went with Taylor Heinicke.
In six games started, Smith completed 135 of 203 passes for 1,220 yards and five touchdowns to five interceptions. For the season, he completed 168 of 252 passes for 1,582 yards and six touchdowns to eight interceptions.
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The Washington Football Team declined to touch upon the Smith interview, which has raised questions as as to if he’ll return to play for the staff in 2021. His contract extends by way of the 2022 season, at which he would develop into an unrestricted free agent. He has a $24.4 million cap hit to the staff in 2021, per Spotrac; the staff would save $13.8 million if it launched him.
Whether Smith returns to play for Washington stays to be seen. But the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year is not enthusiastic about hanging up his cleats but.
“I got more left,” Smith instructed GQ. “I got more to get there, too. So I really do really wanna get in the meat of this offseason and see where I’m at and push it. I want to push my body harder. I want to push my leg harder. The harder I push it, it does respond.
“At some level, I’m clearly going to have to sit down down with my spouse and have a really actual dialog, and will we want to do that? She deserves a ton of enter. So we’ll see.”