Alex Smith returned to NFL action for the first time in two years on Sunday and while it was a triumphant moment, for his family it also brought tremendous emotion.
Smith's wife Liz and their three children watched in the stands as starting quarterback Kyle Allen got injured, and moments later, the backup QB jogged on the field. Of course this was no ordinary backup QB, it was 16-year veteran Alex Smith coming back after two years away from football due to a severe broken leg that nearly led to amputation.
Liz Smith said she felt like she was "going to vomit" when her husband actually took the field.
As she gained her composure, so did Alex, and in the moments after the game Liz Smith was able to talk about the momentous return for her husband.
"Just for him to be able to come to this point was incredible,” Smith said via The Washington Post.
Smith's on-field performance wasn't particularly special. He completed just nine of 17 passes for 37 yards and was sacked six times. He barely had time to throw and the weather was awful. Washington lost the game 30-10.
In some ways, that matters, but in others, it doesn't at all.
Washington has played plenty of bad football games. Unfortunately that happens with some level of regularity.
Smith's return to the football field was beyond improbable, at times it seemed impossible.
It was a special moment, and not just for Liz Smith but for Washington fans and football fans across the country.
"We were at a place where we weren’t certain he’d be able to walk and live, all these things," Liz Smith said. "And to see him work so hard and accomplish so much — when this guy puts his mind to something, he just doesn’t stop, and I think that was something really special."