Alex Smith took another step in his long, arduous journey toward potentially resuming his football career.
The Washington Redskins quarterback shed the external fixator that had been keeping his leg in place following the devastating fracture suffered last season.
Smith's wife, Elizabeth, posted a picture on Instagram of the milestone.
"The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy," she wrote. "Although it's not over, today is a big milestone. We are shedding the weight Alex has been carrying (literally and figuratively). It's one step closer to the goal. The resilience, determination and mental fortitude of this man is unmatched."
The removal of the fixator meshes with Smith's timeline when he told Angie Goff of FOX5 DC last month he'd need to wear the brace another four to six weeks. The QB credited the device with giving him a chance to continue his football career.
"Believe it or not, this thing is going to save my leg, save my bone, allow me to heal and walk again and hopefully play football again," he said at the time.
Getting the fixator off is far from the last step in Smith's stated goal of continuing his NFL career, but it's a big stride.