Football Team

Smith wasn't sure about playing a real game until 6-8 weeks ago

Football Team

Alex Smith knows better than anyone that life changes fast in the NFL. 

It's a lesson he learned in 2018 when he suffered what should have been a career-ending injury, and one he was certainly reminded of this week when he was surprisingly promoted to No. 2 on Washington's QB depth chart and then inserted into a Week 5 loss against the Rams after Kyle Allen left the game due to injury. 

Few, including Smith, would've thought he'd be playing in a real NFL game in 2020, but here we are. He completed nine-of-17 passes for 37 yards and got sacked six (!) times, but the story was the simple fact that he played. 

Something he admitted to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, that he wasn't confident in until about two months ago. 

He said he first became “confident” that he’d be able to play again in the past 6-8 weeks, when he was cleared to practice in helmet and pads.

The absence of a preseason prevented Smith from actually getting hit until Aaron Donald collapsed the pocket on him shortly after entering the game. Thanks to a poor performance from the offensive line, Smith took plenty of hits in his first game in two years. 

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Smith still has work to do. While Sunday served as a milestone in his recovery, he still has to shake some rust off to get to the point where he's a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL. 

At the very least, Week 5 helped Smith, and possibly the rest of his head, get over the mental hurdle of a hit.