Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation in yesterday's game. The Washington Football Team lost their starting QB early on, leaving Taylor Heinicke to take over, almost resulting in a win against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Fitzpatrick will now miss "extended time," which could mean the aging quarterback might not see the field for the remainder of the season. That doesn't necessarily mean Fitz will find a way to return to the field. He has always been a tough QB and his recovery time could shock everyone. It has certainly happened before. Here's a look at three veteran QBs who returned from season-ending injuries.
Three veteran QBs who bounced back from greivous injuries
#1 - Alex Smith, Washington Football Team
Oddly enough, Alex Smith was the veteran who took the field before the WFT decided to sign Fitzpatrick in the offseason. Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury during the 2018 season.
The injury saw him suffer compound fractures to his right tibia and fibula. The recovery process was brutal, requiring him to undergo 17 separate surgeries to repair the right leg. Many analysts thought that Smith would never see the field ever again.
After all of that, Smith returned to play in the 2020 season with the WFT, a feat that saw him crowned Comeback Player of the Year, with most thinking the award should now be named after the former WFT QB. This is a strong argument, considering the brutal recovery process Smith had to endure to see the field again.
Smith is currently enjoying retirement and a new job as an analyst for ESPN.
#2 - Teddy Bridgwater, Denver Broncos
Teddy Bridgewater isn't necessarily the most veteran of all the QBs listed here, but he certainly has some years under his belt. Bridgewater went down in 2016 with a Grade 3 ACL tear. Scans later revealed that he had also suffered some more structural knee damage.
Essentially, Bridgwater's leg "exploded" upon impact. The injury was tagged as a career-ending one. At the very least, the prognosis was that it would severely alter the quarterback's ability to perform at a high level again.
Bridgwater proved to everyone that he is as strong as they come. He is now the starting QB for the Denver Broncos and took his team to their first victory of the 2021 season.
#3 - Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady suffered a Grade 3 ACL tear during the 2008 season. That was the only season in his 20 years with the New England Patriots where the Pats did not win the AFC East. At the time, Brady was already eight years into his storied career.
Brady had to have surgery done to repair his leg, which left the QB sitting on the sideline for the rest of the year. Mobility is always a question for anyone returning from an ACL tear. Some players are not the same after such a serious injury.
Normal rules don't seem to apply to Brady, though, as he bounced back the following season in some fashion. Brady is currently with the Bucs and is 44 years old. There seems to be no stopping the NFL's winningest QB in his quest to collect one Super Bowl ring after another.
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