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Alex Smith retires after improbable comeback season

Alex Smith will say goodbye to football as he leaves on his own terms.

Alex Smith #11 of the Washington Football Team passes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 3, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Alex Smith’s career looked all but over after suffering multiple fractures in his lower leg in Week 11, 2018 after he was hit by the Houston Texans J.J. Watt and a blitzing Kareem Jackson. The injury was devastating. An infection became the true nemesis, as doctors couldn’t pinpoint the root cause. Flesh eating bacteria and septic blood were killing him.

But Smith persisted, and multiple surgeries and treatments later, his life, and amazingly, his leg were in the clear. A return to football wasn’t even in his thought process, but little by little he began to regain his strength and miraculously, on October 11th, after starter Kyle Allen left the game with an injury against the mighty Rams defense, Smith trotted out onto the field. Smith went on to start six games and win the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year award.

Now Smith is hanging up his cleats to spend time with his wife and kids. He very likely would have found a job in the NFL this season, but he is now able to leave on his own terms.