Alex Smith added another defining chapter to his comeback story.
The 36-year-old quarterback took the field Sunday in relief of an injured Kyle Allen and played the entire second half of Washington's 30-10 loss to the Rams. Smith had not appeared in a game since suffering a spiral and compound fracture to his tibia and fibula in his right leg on Nov. 18, 2018.
"Very surreal at first," Smith told reporters afterward. "To have it happen as fast as it did was almost a blessing. ... Just no thinking and going and playing."
Smith completed a 6-yard pass to J.D. McKissic on his first snap midway through the second quarter. Two plays later, he was sacked by Aaron Donald and quickly sprang up, another notable stepping stone in his two-year recovery. Smith completed four consecutive passes on his second drive to set up a Washington field goal.
"I've been waiting on that for a long time," he said of taking that first hit. "The first one felt good. It's nice to know that you're fine and ... knock the cobwebs off so to speak."
Allen was cleared to return from an arm injury early in the third quarter but Smith remained in the game. The veteran QB finished 9 of 17 for 37 yards while taking six sacks, demonstrating limited mobility in what became a rain-soaked affair at FedEx Field. Washington did not earn a first down in the second half and was held to minus-6 yards of offense while punting six times and turning the ball over on downs on a seventh possession.
WFT coach Ron Rivera said afterward that Allen will start Week 6 versus the Giants if he's healthy.
Just getting back on the field was the ultimate goal for Smith, who said he was "lucky to be alive" after enduring 17 surgeries and nearly having his leg amputated. The former No. 1 overall pick rehabbed for the entirety of 2019 and was cleared to resume football activity in July before returning to the practice field a few weeks later.
"I'd be lying if I said there weren't a lot of days where I didn't think it was going to happen," Smith said following Sunday's on-field return.
The former Pro Bowler was upgraded to No. 2 on Washington's depth chart this past week amid the benching of Dwayne Haskins.