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Alex Smith retires after comeback from gruesome leg injury

Alex Smith
Posted at 4:01 PM, Apr 19, 2021

Alex Smith is retiring from the NFL after making an improbable comeback from a broken leg.

Smith announced his retirement Monday on Instagram, saying he still has plenty of snaps left him just shy of his 37th birthday but is calling it quits to enjoy time with his family.

Smith earned AP Comeback Player of the Year honors for getting back on the field last season, two years removed from his gruesome injury that required 17 surgeries.

According to The Associated Press, Smith was hospitalized for close to a month and survived a life-threatening infection on top of the surgeries.

The following year Smith spent rehabbing before returning to Washington to practice during training camp last summer.

Smith first returned to action on Oct. 11 when Kyle Allen was injured. He made his debut as a starter for the Redskins on Nov. 15 against the Detroit Lions.

As a starter, Smith went 5-1 and helped the team clinch the NFC East title in Week 17 while playing with a strained right calf against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Washington released Smith in March and signed veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency.

Smith was the No. 1 overall pick in 2005 and played 14 seasons for San Francisco, Kansas City, and Washington.