Alex Smith on His Comeback: “I Never Thought it Would Happen”
If Alex Smith, the quarterback of the Washington Football Team, needed any reassurance that his right leg would hold up after two years and 17 surgeries out of the game, he got it fairly quickly. Some 700 days after a sack by J.J. Watt left him with a compound spiral fracture in his right leg, and one of the most gruesome injuries in NFL history, he returned to play—and was promptly sacked by Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.
Though the leg had been repaired successfully—with 28 screws and three plates—the journey had been long, complex, and pretty terrifying. At one point, his leg was infected with flesh-eating bacteria called necrotizing fasciitis. Smith then developed sepsis, a complication of an infection that occurs when a body’s immune response damages its own tissues, which left him with two options: amputate his leg, or have a series of surgeries to try to save it. Neither option was good, and neither left Smith, a former number one overall pick, much chance of playing football again.
But with the help of rehab specialists …
More on: www.gq.com