One of the best feel-good stories this NFL season was Alex Smith’s return. Coming off 17 leg surgeries and a flesh-eating bacteria that nearly took his life, it was difficult to imagine if Smith ever could or should take another NFL snap. Well in week five against the Rams, what seemed impossible became reality. Alex Smith took over for the injured Kyle Allen and finished the remainder of the game. It was the first time Smith had seen in-game action since November 18th, 2018. And though the performance was lack-luster and Aaron Donald nearly scared the holy hell out of everyone when he jumped on Alex Smith’s back, you couldn’t help but root for him.
From that moment, Alex Smith was the clear-cut Comeback Player of the Year. And following the game, the consensus feeling was that Smith shouldn’t see the field again. Every time a defender got near him or did in fact hit him, you couldn’t help but cringe. But in week nine Alex Smith was called upon again with Kyle Allen having suffered a season-ending injury. Not only would Smith finish the game, but he would start the next five going 4-1 in that span.
In week 14 against the 49ers, Smith left the game early due to a leg injury. He would miss the next two games with what was described as “calf stiffness”. However, with a win or go home situation in week 17, Alex Smith was called upon just one more time. By hook or by crook, Alex Smith led the Washington Football Team to victory and the playoffs. Though some in the media would claim the Eagles handed it to them.
Though he never took a snap in the playoffs, Alex Smith showed everyone they were wrong to doubt him.
The Voter that got it Wrong
There were few awards at this year’s NFL honors that were undoubtedly no-brainers. But none more obvious than Alex Smith being the rightful Comeback Player of the Year. If the 50 NFL award voters had a shred of common sense, there’s no question they’d all vote for Alex Smith. Well, after a 49-1 vote in favor of Smith, we now know that 49 of the 50 have common sense. It’s reminiscent of when Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn robbed LeBron James of being a unanimous MVP.
It quickly came out that the one other vote was for Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger. Which makes a bit of sense if you forgot that Alex Smith almost died. Being the first Quarterback to ever have Tommy John surgery on top of helping the Steelers to a 12-4 record, it’s understandable why someone would consider him for this award. But again, Alex Smith literally both almost lost his leg, and died. So any voter that didn’t vote for the man whose name rhymes with Smalex Smith has lost all credibility.
#Washington QB Alex Smith is officially named the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year. The resilience he showed after 17 surgeries and almost losing his leg is inspiring. Went 5-1 as a starter and got Washington into the postseason. A comeback that will never be forgotten.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 7, 2021
Embarrassing that it wasn’t unanimous. https://t.co/8iyU0ZD82b— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 7, 2021
Whoever voted for Ben Roethlisberger should put their name to the vote, and explain their logic behind their choice.
Alex Smith’s Future
What Alex Smith will do or where he’ll play in the coming seasons is unknown. Washington clearly needs a franchise Quarterback to help lead their young talented roster. By cutting Smith, it would save them $13.8 million against the salary cap. At 36 years old, Smith has made more than $160 million in his career. There would be zero push back if he chose to retire tomorrow. But whatever it is that Alex Smith plans to do in the future, NFL fans collectively wish him the best.