Peterson tells Alex Smith 'keep fighting’ after QB's milestone originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Adrian Peterson may not be on Washington anymore, but the veteran running back still managed to see former teammate Alex Smith’s recovery through when the two faced off Sunday in the quarterback’s first start since suffering multiple fractures in his right leg nearly two years ago.
Smith underwent 17 surgeries to repair both his tibia and fibula as well as fend off a bacterial infection that nearly cost him his leg and his life. He returned to the field in training camp, but Peterson was cut by Washington before he could see him at game speed. Smith made his 2020 debut in Week 5 and was named the team’s starter four weeks later after Kyle Allen’s season ended due to an ankle injury.
Though Smith threw for 390 yards with no interceptions, it wasn’t enough for Washington as Peterson and the Detroit Lions escaped with a 30-27 win. After the game, Peterson took to Instagram to congratulate his former teammate on the work he’s put in over the last two years.
"Your journey is an inspiration to all of us and a reminder to never give up in spite of everything that may hold us back," Peterson wrote. "Keep fighting Alex."
Peterson is no stranger to career-threatening injuries. The four-time All-Pro tore his ACL late in the 2011 season, coincidentally against Washington. He made a remarkable recovery, returning in time for Week 1 of the 2012 campaign and putting together an MVP season with a near-record 2,097 rushing yards to go with 13 total touchdowns.
Despite putting together a historic season, Peterson was edged out by Peyton Manning for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Smith, just by returning to the field, has already made a strong case for this year’s honor.