In Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season, quarterback Alex Smith took the field for the Washington Football Team, marking his incredible comeback to playing football after suffering a gruesome leg injury in 2018 that was nearly career-ending.
Just a few hours after Smith's heartwarming achievement, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered an injury that was eerily similar. As Smith sat down on the couch later in the night, he witnessed the moment live.
Knowing Prescott through mutual connections, it was a moment that hit Smith deeply for multiple reasons. At that moment, he was seeing a well-respected player deal with a challenge that only he and a few others could truly understand. That has led Smith to keep in contact with Prescott throughout his journey of rehabilitation.
“Certainly, yeah, I kept up what’s going on with him closely," Smith said on the Washington Football Talk Podcast. "Because obviously, it did hit close to home for me.”
As Smith follows Prescott's steps following the injury, one encouraging sign is that he believes the Cowboys passer will be able to begin his recovery without dealing with the additional trials and tribulations Smith was put through.
Part of what made Smith's injury so dangerous was an infection that followed the initial break of the tibia and fibula. It required 17 surgeries and became not only career-threatening but life-threatening.
Smith was able to overcome the obstacles, but it was not easy. Prescott's surgery went well and all signs point to a clean recovery. That's something that Smith is glad to see, as he doesn't want anyone to go through what he did.
"Mine was unique, very unique in the sense of the infection I got post is kind of what really made mine crazy," Smith said. “Didn’t want to put any of that juju on him at all. Obviously, it looks good now that he’s through that phase on the road to recovery."
Now, like Smith, Prescott will begin the long road to recovery with the hope of eventually returning to the football field. It will be a battle filled with ups and downs, but the quarterback will have everyone in his corner cheering him on. That includes someone who understands exactly what he is going through.
"So, obviously pulling for him," Smith said. "He’s obviously a great player but an even better person.”