Alex Smith is one of the feel-good stories of the 2020 NFL season.
The Washington Football team's backup quarterback used to be the team's starter in 2018 -- his first year with Washington after two straight Pro Bowl seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. But then on Nov. 18, 2018, Smith suffered a gruesome compound fracture in his right leg.
After having surgery on the leg, Smith developed an infection. He almost had to have the leg amputated. He almost died. But Smith recovered and made it all the way back to the NFL this season. Simply being on Washington's roster is an accomplishment; any time he gets to play is a Hollywood storybook event.
The circumstance that led to Smith taking the field in Washington's game against the New York Giants on Sunday, however, was a sad story in itself.
Smith entered the game after Washington's starting QB, Kyle Allen, suffered an ugly dislocated ankle and small fracture that drew memories of Smith's injury.
Kyle Allen was trying to avoid being sacked by Giants safety Jabrill Peppers, who proceeded to leg-whip Allen and cause the dislocation.
Twitter reacts to Kyle Allen's injury
NFL Twitter reacted strongly to yet another shocking QB injury:
Joe Theismann was Alex Smith before Alex Smith; he was Kyle Allen before Kyle Allen. The retired QB suffered a broken leg during a Washington game against the Giants on Nov. 18, 1985 -- yes, the same day as Smith's injury -- that effectively ended his career and is probably the most infamous injury in NFL history.
Kyle Allen's injury happened against the Giants. And when Smith starts Washington's next game, against the Detroit Lions -- his first start since his Nov. 18, 2018 injury -- it'll be three days before Nov. 18.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott broke his leg against the Giants earlier this season.
The Browns have a notoriously long list of quarterbacks who were supposed to be franchise saviors but fizzled out due to poor play, organizational disarray and other factors. Washington has a history of QBs who get badly injured: Theismann, Robert Griffin III, Smith ... hopefully Kyle Allen's injury isn't as bad.