Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Trent Williams calls Alex Smith comeback ‘an inspiration for mankind’

Nov 13, 2020 at 9:48 AM--

Alex Smith is set to make his first start since suffering a gruesome and life-threatening leg injury on November 18, 2018. The story of the Washington quarterback, who started his career with the San Francisco 49ers, has been an inspiration. Many fans across the NFL landscape will be pulling for Smith on Sunday when the Washington Football Team faces the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

One of those fans is 49ers left tackle Trent Williams, who played with Smith in 2018. He joined KNBR on Thursday night and was asked about his former teammate.

"It's a Cinderella story, for lack of a better word," Williams told Mark Willard. "I was actually one of those guys who seen Alex in the hospital after he had been through, I think it was 12 surgeries in 13 days or 11 surgeries in 12 days. I honestly laid eyes on where he was when he was close to death.

"To see him where he is now, it's so gratifying. He's blessed, and we're all blessed to be able to even witness his story because a lot of people who made as much money as he had and has been as successful as he has, they would have had every good reason to just turn it in, and look for another something to fill in for football.

"So the fact that he had enough grit, had enough determination, had enough drive and fight to get through that — not only the injury but the life-threatening things that came behind just the broken leg, it's remarkable. I don't think we can say enough about him."

Smith has appeared in two games this season, completing 67.3 percent of his passes for a touchdown and three interceptions. The fact that he is even out on the football field again is inspirational. No one would have blamed him had he chosen to leave the NFL behind after suffering a major injury. However, he worked hard and fought his way back.

As a friend, Williams worried about Smith. When fans first heard that the quarterback was determined to return to the game, the first thought that popped into their heads was the fear that Smith might suffer another injury. Williams admits he feared that as well.

The heart and mind of the fan, however, said other things.

"Me as a fan of him, I'm definitely glad and happy to see he choose to fight through it," Williams said. "And now, seeing where he is now as the starting quarterback for that team, I think that's going to be an inspiration for a lot of people. A lot of people, not even football fans.

"That should just be an inspiration for mankind to understand that just because the odds may be stacked against you don't mean that you don't fight, that you don't go out and try to achieve what you believe to be worth it. And I think him showing everybody that he can come back from that was probably more important than anything."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Williams below.

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