Even if Alex Smith is not the starting quarterback for the Washington Football Team this year, he and his family still have plenty of reason to pop open the champagne.
On Saturday, the quarterback was cleared to play in the 2020 season by Washington team doctors – a moment that seemed like it would be impossible less than two years ago when Smith went down with a gruesome broken leg that put his career – an even life – into jeopardy.
Smith’s wife, Elizabeth, posted the family’s reaction to the news, which included herself and their children spraying the 36-year-old quarterback with champagne in his driveway.
“Hard work pays off! Lots to celebrate in the Smith house tonight,” she wrote.
The road back has been an enduring one for Smith, who broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg on Nov. 18, 208 in a game against the Houston Texans.
Smith developed an infection in the leg and had to undergo 17 different surgeries. Doctors feared they would have to amputate his leg, and he also developed a blood clot that was considered life-threatening.
On July 24, Smith’s personal doctors had cleared him for full activity, but Washington doctors continued to raise concern about his ability to protect himself and wanted to see more out of the 36-year-old before clearing him.
Smith was officially activated from the PUP list on Sunday morning.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera has said that if Smith were activated, he would get a fair shot at the quarterback competition with Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen.
Whatever happens next for Smith, it is nothing short of incredible that he will be back on the field for full football activity this summer at the very least.