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From impossible to reality, Alex Smith makes Washington's final roster

Insider

Conventional wisdom said Alex Smith would never throw another pass, let alone wear a uniform again. 

Well, Alex Smith is anything but conventional. 

The Washington Football Team will announce it's 53-man roster later Saturday, and right next to Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen comes Alex Smith. On the active roster for the 2020 season, according to the Washington Post and The Athletic. The Post had the news first. 

It's an incredible story.

The last time he played football, Smith suffered a compound fracture in his right leg. During his recovery infection crept in and that required surgery after surgery - 17 in all. He nearly lost his life due to that infection and nearly lost his leg to stop it. 

Somehow, mostly through sheer determination and a committed medical team, Smith fought back. 

Slowly at first, but then things gained steam. In a quiet moment last fall, hours before practice, I saw Smith running around and throwing footballs, and for the first time I considered his comeback possible.

Not real, but possible, and as Smith progressed, he cleared one hurdle after another. 

Then came training camp, and Smith was cleared off the Physically Unable to Perform list. Which was incredible because that meant Smith was back on the active roster. 

Then he got actual work on the field. 

Then he played 7-on-7. Then he played 9-on-9, which meant facing a pass rush. 

 

Now, he's taken 11-on-11 snaps. Full defenses. There hasn't been contact and it's far from real football, but it keeps happening. 

Will he actually play this season? Nobody knows. 

Washington Football head coach Ron Rivera named Dwayne Haskins the team's starting quarterback this week, and the second-year passer out of Ohio State deserved it. Haskins worked hard this offseason and the organization needs to see what Haskins can do given a full season. 

Will Smith be Haskins' backup? Nobody knows that yet, and Rivera won't tip his hand if Smith or Allen gets the backup role.

It's entirely possible Smith is on the active roster but doesn't play in the 2020 season. Or that Smith lands on injured reserve for a stint. 

But it's also possible that Smith plays this year. There have been a million impossible things for Smith to clear to get to this point, so it would be foolish to set other unattainable benchmarks. 

It's long past time to stop doubting Alex Smith.