When Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in 2018, some believed he would never take the football field again. Fast forward to 2020 and he's done just that.
While the road to recovery has been filled with tough moments and numerous obstacles, the veteran quarterback never let his struggles define him. Through the ups and downs of rehabbing, Smith never made excuses, he just continued to work.
Washington Football Team running back Adrian Peterson has seen what Smith was able to persevere through and believes it has taught the team a valuable lesson. If he can return from that injury, there's no reason anyone else should be complaining.
“Who on this team can sit back and have any type of excuse when you see Alex out there playing football again? There’s no excuses," Peterson told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay.
Peterson can relate to Smith's journey on a personal level, as the running back tore his ACL in 2011 before recovering and leading the league in rushing the following season. Though he admitted that the two's injuries were "night and day" from one another, Peterson understands the mental mindset needed to bounce back from a serious career setback.
Knowing Smith's character and personality, Peterson never doubted that he'd one day seem him on the field again.
“Him being back out here playing football. Who would have thought that? I know I did," Peterson said. "I’ve always been a supporter of him. Like I said before, I was able to look in his eyes and I knew he was going to back on the football field playing this game that he loves.”
Smith's return to the football field is not only a celebratory moment for his teammates but a reminder that there is nothing -- no matter how bad or challenging it may seem -- that can truly slow someone down if they carry the right attitude.
Each time Smith steps out on the field, he shows others just that. Peterson believes players have taken notice, and it's positively impacted their spirit and determination.
"Just having him present and back out here I feel like it’s been very uplifting," Peterson said. "I know to me, and other guys as well.”