Alex Smith Has Completed His Comeback, Will Be Activated Off PUP List

Quarterback Alex Smith of the Washington Redskins warms up before the game
Norm Hall / Getty Images

Alex Smith has officially completed his comeback, according to Matt Conner of Arrowhead Addict. The Washington quarterback was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Sunday, two years after suffering a broken leg that many people thought would end his career. Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, who has arguably the most famous broken leg in the history of the NFL, went so far as to say it looked “just like” his. That break did end Theismann’s career.

Conner said Smith has been totally cleared to return to football activities, meaning he could conceivably compete for the starting job in Washington this fall.

Smith being able to return to action was celebrated by people all around the NFL, including his family. The Smith clan posted a video to Instagram where they showed his loved ones showering him with both champagne and regular old water.

As the analyst points out, the posting by Smith’s wife on the social media post is all the more touching when thinking about the long road back that he was facing after 2018.

Smith was traded by the Kansas City Chiefs to Washington before the 2018 regular season and he immediately took over the starting job for that franchise. In week 10, he suffered a compound spiral fracture of his leg while being sacked.

The injury wasn’t just considered threatening to his career but to his body and his life. After numerous surgeries to try and repair the break, he suffered a sepsis infection and amputation was considered.

In the end, doctors didn’t need to remove the limb and the quarterback officially began his comeback. For quite a while the focus seemed to be more about Smith being able to walk normally again, than actually playing football. It wasn’t until the last nine months, according to those around the sport, that he really began talking about getting on the field and competing again.

Things have moved relatively quickly for Smith this summer. On July 27 he was moved from Injured Reserve (IR) to the PUP list, as a procedural step that made it easier for Washington to officially activate him and clear him for practices and games.

On Sunday, the final step was taken by the franchise to allow him all the way back.

Head coach Ron Rivera has praised Smith’s drive in the last few weeks but hasn’t said if the team is planning on an open competition for the starting job, or if it is second-year player Dwayne Haskins’ to lose.