Alex Smith is starting his first NFL game since a gruesome leg injury that nearly cost him his life.
Smith is up against the Detroit Lions in a Week 10 matchup with Washington still on the hunt for an NFC East division title. But it’s been about two years since Smith went down with an injury.
Smith broke his tibia and fibula in a devastating injury and while trying to recover he battled an infection that nearly cost him his life and caused doctors to ponder amputating the leg. However, he battled through 17 surgeries to get back to the starting role. He’s appeared in a few games this season.
“It’s an amazing feeling, and I love the challenge,” the quarterback said Wednesday. “It’s been a long time, even just driving into work with that feeling (of) knowing that the ball’s in your hands.”
Lions coach Matt Patricia said he had a ton of respect for Smith.
“I can’t, off the top of my head, think of anything as probably public and severe as his was,” Patricia said. “Everyone deals with a lot of stuff certainly through the course of the year, but when you’re going out there and you know everything that that guy next you has been through, you kind of just go out there and push a little bit more. It’s a great story. It’s an inspiration.”
In two games this season, Smith has 362 passing yards and a touchdown pass.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.