Alex Smith's comeback would have been impressive had he never stepped back on the field. A broken fibula and tibia and 17 surgeries thanks to an infection left him barely able to walk.
Just fighting his way back to normal was miraculous.
Now the starting quarterback for the Washington Football Team heading into today's game against the Cowboys, the team wants more of the 36-year-old Smith.
Coach Ron Rivera and his staff want Smith back for the 2021 season, sources say. A nod to not only his leadership in the quarterback room, but also simply how he's played. Smith has not said publicly or privately whether he wants to play in 2021, but he is under contract through 2022.
Smith is set to make $19 million next season, a perfectly reasonable rate for a bridge quarterback as WFT continues its search for its next franchise QB -- whether it's Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen or someone acquired in a trade or the draft.
Over the past two games, Smith has gone 55 of 80 for 556 yards with one touchdown and an interception. A close loss to the Lions included a fourth-quarter drive that nearly won the game, and that was followed by a cruise control victory over the Bengals.
His performance in mid-November led Rivera to declare, "he's back as a player." The team would like that to continue.
The Washington quarterback room has Smith and Haskins now, though Haskins could be dealt this offseason for a fresh start. Allen is currently on injured reserve but expected to make a full recovery.
The team wants the high-character Smith to return, both to serve as a mentor to whoever the future is and because his play warrants a shot at being the starter himself.
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