Redskins QB Says He Nearly Died After Grisly Leg Injury

Dan Mennella
February 01, 2020 - 3:42 pm

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith said he is “very much lucky to be alive, very lucky to have my leg” after dealing with complications from a severe injury suffered in November 2018.

Appearing on ESPN’s Outside The Lines on Saturday morning, Smith revealed he developed sepsis, what he called a “pretty serious infection,” in the weeks after having surgery to repair fractures in his right leg.

The initial surgery went smoothly, Smith said, but then the infection was discovered:

"I went septic. It was an infection that had gotten into my blood, and at that point I don't remember much for a few weeks."

Amputating the leg was also at one point discussed, Smith said, but he instead opted to keep the limb and underwent well over a dozen surgeries.

The 35-year-old Smith sat out the balance of the 2018 season and all of 2019 while mending and rehabilitating, but says he has since made a full recovery.

The grisly injury occurred in Week 11 of 2018, when Smith’s leg twisted awkwardly on a sack by JJ Watt and Kareem Jackson of the Houston Texans. The 13-year veteran went down with a compound fracture of the right tibia, which was protruding through his skin, and a fractured right fibula.

A return to the NFL seemed like a long shot for Smith considering his life was at one point in doubt, but he has not ruled it out yet, according to ESPN, and neither have the Redskins. Smith echoed a similar sentiment in October when he first revealed the injury had cost him 17 surgeries.

Smith, drafted first overall in 2005 out of Utah by the 49ers, is a three-time Pro Bowler and started 166 career games in stints with San Francisco, Kansas City and Washington.

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