Alex Smith says he still hopes to play in NFL

Ben Krimmel
June 21, 2019 - 10:16 am
Redskins quarterback Alex Smith says he still hopes to play in the NFL.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images


Alex Smith says he still has plans to play football again in the first interview since suffering a devastating leg injury during Week 9 of the 2018 NFL season.

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"That's the plan. That's the plan," Smith said. "(There are some) steps, I've got to conquer some more steps before I get there. Learn to run again. That's a big one. I'm already throwing. I already feel like throwing is not a problem. I feel like I can throw. But dropping, moving around, all that kind of stuff, change of direction."

"I'm looking forward to it, I'm excited about that challenge. The stronger I get every week, the more I do, the more hopeful I am that that's a real possibility," Smith said. 

Speaking with Fox 5 D.C.’s Angie Goff on "The Oh My Goff Show," the Washington Redskins quarterback spoke about what he still needs to do before having his external fixator removed from his right leg, which he was first seen wearing in January. He hopes to soon have the contraption removed after wearing it for "seven months, seven and a half months" and "living with metal pinned into my leg," Smith said.

Smith, who required an extended hospital stay after the injury, suffered serious, "devastating" complications and required multiple surgeries to clear infections after breaking his right leg in November. Since suffering the injury, Smith has been seen a few times in public, attending a Washington Wizards game at Capital One Arena in January, visiting a military rehab center in February, and attending Redskins OTAs in May, but he had not spoken publically. 

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden told the media in early June that Smith was recovering, but slowly. 

“He’s recovering nicely, slowly but surely,” Gruden said. “It’s going to be a little bit of time, but soon as he’s able to, he’ll push it and get himself ready. We’ll just have to wait and see. It’s going to be a pretty lengthy process, for the most part. Once he’s able to go, he’ll recover a lot quicker than people anticipate, I’m sure.”

Smith is under contract with Washington through the 2020 season after signing a four-year, $94 million deal with $71 million in guaranteed money before the 2018 season. He carries a cap hit of $42 million over the next two seasons. 

Speaking about the external fixator, Smith said the contraption, which he said comes from Siberia “is gonna save my leg and help me heal and allow me to walk again and hopefully play football again.”

He added the next few steps he is working on are "lifestyle" ones including playing basketball with his kids and running around with his daughter. Smith also said he has begun to drive, play golf, and workout.

"The last three months have definitely been life-changing," he said.

"The first four months after the injury were really, really hard" both physically and mentally," Smith added. "Just to be in a wheelchair for as long as I was. When you have independence and then lose it that was the hardest part."

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