Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports


Ex-49ers QB Alex Smith named AP Comeback Player of the Year

Feb 6, 2021 at 7:07 PM--


It was a difficult journey back for Alex Smith. The quarterback of the Washington Football Team suffered a horrific leg injury on November 18, 2018. Not only was it career-threatening, but it was life-threatening.

Smith's recovery from the injury was chronicled during an ESPN documentary that aired last offseason, entitled Project 11. It provided an inside look at the quarterback's journey, and what he had to endure as he fought for his life, and later, a return to football. Infections, several surgeries, and a lengthy and challenging rehab stood between Smith and the game he loves.

While many questioned whether Smith would play football again, he proved doubters wrong and stepped back onto the football field against the Los Angeles Rams on October 11, 2020, and then started six games this past season.

Smith finished the season passing for 1,582 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. He was 5-1 as a starter.

On Saturday, the former No. 1 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, who had a stop in Kansas City before landing in Washington, was named the AP Comeback Player of the Year.


Heading into the 49ers' Week 14 contest against Washington, head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Smith's success.

"I mean, because Alex, he's a very good quarterback," Shanahan told reporters. "He always has been. He knows where to go with the ball, which, to me, is one of the biggest things for any quarterback. You read coverages and stuff, and there's always a spot, there's a hole in it, and you want to get the ball there, and Alex is efficient at doing that as anybody."

Washington ended up beating San Francisco 23-15, but Smith left the game early due to a calf strain.

While Shanahan has never personally spoken with Smith, he has just as much respect for Smith as everyone else in the NFL.

"I did see the [documentary] everyone saw," Shanahan said. "For him to go through what he went through and to still want to come back, it's definitely not a money thing. The guy does alright in that area. It's not something he had to do.

"It shows why he has been successful in everything he's done, showed why he had a great college career, showed why he was a top pick in the draft. It showed why he's helped out three different teams now, and for him to come back and just want to come back after going through that, it shows there's a lot of special things inside that guy."

Smith's resolve even inspired one star player who will play tomorrow in Super Bowl LV.

"Hey, I'm so f--king proud of you, bro," Tampa Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady told Smith after a playoff matchup. "You're f--king unbelievable, you know that? You're an inspiration to all of us. You're unbelievable. Always here if you need me."






More San Francisco 49ers News



Alex Smith's top 5 moments with the 49ers

By Sasha D. Robinson
Apr 20, 2021

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith retired from the NFL after playing 14 of the last 16 seasons in the league. Smith, who was the top overall draft pick of the 49ers in 2005, spent his first seven years in the Bay Area. The former Utah Ute had many mountains to climb with San Francisco, like five different offensive coordinators, head coaches who did not believe in him, and being in the same draft as California Golden Bears' Aaron Rodgers, whom the Green Bay Packers drafted in the same draft. In honor of his career with the 49ers, here are Smith's top five moments with the team. Moment 5: The Phoenix rises After a horrible 45-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and coming off a bye week, the 49ers traveled to Houston in a Week 7 game on Oct. 25,



Former 49ers QB Alex Smith announces retirement

By David Bonilla
Apr 19, 2021

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Football Team, has announced his retirement from the NFL. He and his wife, Elizabeth, both posted the following via their Instagram



Bay Area media reacts to ex-49ers QB Alex Smith's retirement

By David Bonilla
Apr 19, 2021

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1 overall pick by the team in 2005, officially announced his retirement from NFL today. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CN2j9LohMi4/?utm_source=ig_embed The announcement has garnered a significant reaction from the media, who watched Smith not only overcome a devastating leg injury that nearly cost him his life, but also return to football this past season, earning him NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors. Here are a few of the reactions from Bay Area reporters who helped cover the team for at least a portion of Smith's eight seasons with the



49ers sign former Eagles QB Nate Sudfeld to a one-year deal

By David Bonilla
Apr 7, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers announced that the team has signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld to a one-year deal. The Washington Football Team made Sudfeld a sixth-round selection out of Indiana in 2016. He signed with the Eagles practice squad before the 2017 season. Sudfeld completed five-of-12 attempts (41.7 percent) for 32 yards and an interception in one game with the Eagles last season, per NFL.com. San Francisco now has four quarterbacks on its roster. They are Jimmy Garoppolo, Josh Rosen, Josh Johnson, and now Sudfeld. The team is expected to draft a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick, which they acquired on March 26 via a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Sudfeld, 27, has completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 188 yards


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone