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Alex Smith says return from injury threw ‘wrench’ in Washington soccer team’s plans: ‘They didn’t want me’

Alex Smith’s return to the football field in 2020 after a life-threatening leg injury has been one of the biggest stories of the NFL season. But Smith said his triumphant return was viewed more as an unwanted obstacle by the Washington football team.

Smith, in an interview with GQ Magazine on Tuesday, said he threw a “wrench” into the WFT quarterback’s plans, adding that the team were surprised to be able to play after returning from injury. November 18, 2018: a compound fracture that shattered both. the tibia and fibula on his right leg. A life-threatening infection made matters worse and almost forced doctors to amputate her leg above the knee.

Smith returned to Washington before the start of the 2020 season, but felt he hadn’t given him a “fair shake” as first-year coach Ron Rivera pointed to sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins as starting from the team.

“When I decided to come back, I definitely threw a wrench into the team’s plan,” Smith told GQ. “They didn’t see it, didn’t want me there, didn’t want me to be part of it, didn’t want me to be part of the team, of the roster, didn’t want to give me lucky Notice it was a whole new diet they came in I’m like the leftovers and I’m hurt and I’m that responsibility.

“Heck no, they didn’t want me there. At that point, as you can imagine, all that I had been through, I couldn’t have cared less about it all. Like it or not, I give it a go at this point. “

MORE: What Happened to Alex Smith? The story of his broken leg and a ‘miracle’ return to the NFL two years later

Smith said the team initially attempted to place him in the injured reserve before the final roster reduction, which would have ended any hopes of a return in 2020. Instead, he opened the camp on the list of the team physically unable to perform until August 16. Even then, Smith said he wasn’t allowed to participate in fully padded 11-on-11 workouts until after training camp was over – and only after that did he push coaches to give him a luck.

“I felt like I still hadn’t had my right shake by then,” Smith said. “I wanted to see if I could play quarterback and play football, and I feel like I haven’t had that chance to find out yet. It’s like I’m getting closer to the end of it. ‘a marathon and they tell you that you can’t finish the run. It’s like, “f – that. I’m finishing this stuff. At least I’ll see if I can. “So I’m thankful that we worked on all of this, but no, it wasn’t like open arms returning after two years.”

Smith started as the team’s No.3 quarterback for the first four games of the season before Rivera opted to bench Haskins (89 of 146 passes, 939 yards, four touchdowns, three interceptions, 13 sacks. ). Smith, then the main substitute, saw his first action in Week 5 after starter Kyle Allen left the game with a concussion. He completed 9 of 17 passes for 37 yards in the 30-10 loss.

Smith didn’t register his stats again until four weeks later, completing 24 of 32 passes for 325 yards and a three-steal touchdown in a 23-20 loss to the Giants. The following week, he secured his first start, leading the team to four wins in five games. He sustained a bone bruise in a Dec. 13 victory over San Francisco, but returned in the final regular season game to lead the team to a decisive victory over the Eagles. He didn’t play in the team’s loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay; Rivera went with Taylor Heinicke instead.

In six games started, Smith completed 135 of 203 passes for 1,220 yards and five touchdowns in five interceptions. For the season, he completed 168 of 252 passes for 1,582 yards and six touchdowns from eight interceptions.

MORE: Washington’s Alex Smith Now Has His Own ‘Bloody Sock Game’ Thanks To Twitter

The Washington football team declined to comment on Smith’s interview, which raised questions about whether he would return to play for the team in 2021. His contract runs until the 2022 season, in during which he would become an unrestricted free agent. He has a cap of $ 24.4 million for the team in 2021, per Spotrac; the team would save $ 13.8 million if they released him.

Whether Smith returns to play for Washington remains to be seen. But the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year is not yet interested in hanging up his boots.

“I have more,” Smith told GQ. “I have more to do it too. So I really really want to get into the meat of this offseason and see where I am and push it. I want to push my body harder. I want to push my leg harder. The harder I push him, the more he responds.

“At some point I’m obviously going to have to sit down with my wife and have a very real conversation, and do we want to do that?” She deserves a ton of comments. So we’ll see.

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