NFL 2020: Washington QB Alex Smith returns to action after two years
Week 5 of the NFL season brought many surprises. The biggest may have been the return of Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith, who checked into a game for the first time since the horrific leg injury he suffered in November 2018.
Smith came off the bench and filled in for QB Kyle Allen during Washington's 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
After Washington's 2019 first-round draft pick and starting QB Dwayne Haskins was demoted to the third string and listed as inactive for Sunday's game, Allen was given the starting job. Alex Smith was named the backup.
During the second quarter, Allen took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and had to come out of the game.
Alex Smith was then called into duty.
It wasn't pretty for him or his family, who was in attendance at FedEx Field. Smith completed 9 of 17 passes for 37 yards and he was sacked six times.
Yes, six sacks. Every time the Rams' defense -- led by All-Pro superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald -- closed in on Smith, everyone watching the game hoped it wouldn't be another disaster. But the veteran quarterback came out perfectly fine despite losing the game. Washington's record fell to 1-4 this season.
Alex Smith's start in Washington
Alex Smith was brought to Washington after the 2017 season, when he led the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs as their starter. Washington got Smith in a trade for a third-round draft pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller (now back with the team). Smith was then signed to a four-year, $94 million contract, which showed that Washington believed he would be their quarterback for the next few years at minimum.
Going into Week 11 of the 2018 season, Smith had led Washington to a 6-3 record and to the top of the NFC East. The playoffs were clearly in sight.
In that game against the Houston Texans, however, Smith was sacked and suffered a compound fracture of his right leg. It was one of the more gruesome injury scenes in recent NFL history.
There was little hope of Alex Smith returning to football after going through multiple surgeries, infections, and being told that he might have to amputate his leg. But despite all that, Smith stated he wanted to continue his NFL journey, and he certainly fought through all of it to come back.
On Sunday, he reached his goal of playing quarterback again in the NFL.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera has stated that if Allen is healthy, he will stay as the starting quarterback next week when the team faces the New York Giants. Despite being on the sideline and still suited up, Allen was kept out of the rest of the Rams game as a precaution, which was a good move by Rivera considering the uncertainty with Smith.
Time will tell if Allen is the future QB for this team. Some Washington fans were certainly missing Haskins on Sunday. Rumors have stated that Allen is on a "short leash," which means that if he plays poorly next week, he could be pulled.
Either way, Alex Smith needs to brush that rust off if he does see the field, because I'm sure he will see it soon again.