Alex Smith expected to open camp on active/PUP list

Chris Lingebach
July 27, 2020 - 11:32 am
Alex Smith expected to open camp on active/PUP list

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Days after being cleared to return to full football activity by his personal surgical team, quarterback Alex Smith, who still needs to pass his team physical, is expected to begin training camp on the active/PUP list, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports.

This incredible sequence of events raises the possibility that, more than a year and a half after suffering a devastating leg fracture in Nov. 2018, Smith could have a real shot at returning to football, once only a distant hope, if not a highly unlikely possibility.

On Friday, reports surfaced that Smith had received clearance from his surgical team – which notably includes Washington team physician Robin West – to return to football activity.

"For me, all eyes are on practice," Smith told ESPN on Friday. "That's the next step. I have to go prove to myself and certainly to everybody else that I can go practice."

As ESPN noted, Smith was able to monitor his own progress in terms of strength, conditioning and agility while working out in Hawaii this offseason. What he was unable to determine on his own was how well the bones in his surgically repaired right leg were healing. Smith's surgical team provided clarity on that last week after a fresh round of X-rays and a CT scan.

"Everyone was in agreement that my bone was in a really good place," Smith told ESPN "I had healed a lot. They said that given the combination of the rod and where I was with the healing process, I had zero limitations and could even resume some football activities."

How this affects Washington's plans at quarterback in 2020 remains to be seen, but for the sake of Smith's health, this appears to be the greatest windfall to date in the 36-year-old quarterback's improbable return to football. Should Smith formally clear his team physical, it opens the door to a potential return in 2020.