Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith had plenty of doubters on his road back to the NFL – including his own team. As Smith was trying to return from a gruesome leg injury, he felt Washington "didn't want" him around, according to Clay Skipper of GQ.
Smith's comments were part of a bigger article focusing on the QB's comeback. Smith said some in the organization looked at him like he had "three eyes" because they never expected Smith to return.
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When asked how the organization responded to Smith coming back, Smith said:
"So there was a very small group of people that actually thought that I could do this. I think the rest of the world either doubted me, or they patronized me. 'Yeah, that's really nice that you're trying.' When I decided to come back, I definitely threw a wrench in the team's plan. They didn't see it, didn't want me there, didn't want me to be a part of it, didn't want me to be on the team, the roster, didn't want to give me a chance. Mind you, it was a whole new regime, they came in, I'm like the leftovers and I'm hurt and I'm this liability. Heck no, they didn't want me there. At that point, as you can imagine, everything I'd been through, I couldn't have cared less about all that. [laughs] Whether you like it or not, I'm giving this a go at this point."
Smith added that after he was back, he felt like he had to fight to get on the field.
"Well yeah. I mean, they tried to put me on PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] for two weeks, then they tried to high-arm me. I felt like I still hadn't had my fair shake at that point. I wanted to see if I could play quarterback and play football, and I feel like I hadn't been given that opportunity yet to find that out. It’s like getting this close to the end line of a marathon and they're telling you that you can't finish the race. It’s like, f*** that. I'm finishing this thing. At least I'm going to see if I can."
As Smith noted, it didn't help that a new regime took over after he was injured. Smith suffered his leg injury in 2018. At the time, Jay Gruden was the team's head coach. Gruden was fired in 2019, and Ron Rivera took over in 2020. Rivera and the rest of his staff had no ties or loyalty to Smith, which made things more difficult for Smith.
Alex Smith unsure what's next in his career
Despite winning the Comeback Player of the Year award, Smith is unsure about his football future. He still believes he has enough talent to keep playing, and wants to push himself in the offseason, but admits he'll sit down with his wife and talk about whether they want to endure another season.
Smith's wife Elizabeth played a major role in Smith's recovery — which was not easy — and Smith said she deserves "a ton of input" into whether he plays again.
In eight games, Smith completed 66.7 percent of his passes. He threw for six touchdowns against eight interceptions after missing all of 2019 due to his injury.
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