Alex Smith Cleared for Football After 17 Surgeries and Nearly Dying, Family Celebrates in Epic Fashion

Sunday morning, the Washington Football Team officially cleared quarterback Alex Smith for football activity. This momentous moment marked his return from a shattered leg and a near-death experience. Smith's family reacted by spraying him with what appeared to be champagne in celebration.

Smith's wife Elizabeth posted footage of the celebration on Sunday after the return became official. She and several others held bottles as Smith exited his home. They then chased him around, spraying bubbly. The QB was completely drenched after mere seconds, but he didn't appear to mind. He had just completed a seemingly miraculous recovery from a devastating injury and was no longer on the Physically Unable to Perform List.

"Alex Smith's leg was shattered on November 18th, 2018. In the days following, he got sepsis, which nearly took his life. He spent the next month in a hospital, then 3 in a wheelchair, then 8 in an external fixator. He had 17 surgeries within 9 months. Incredible determination," wrote ESPN's Field Yates on Sunday.

The 36-year-old broke his tibia and fibula after a tackle by Houston's JJ Watt and Kareem Jackson. He then faced a serious infection and nearly lost his leg. Doctors also feared for his life. Despite the major issues, Smith vowed to return to the football field. He will achieve that goal on Tuesday when the Washington Football Team holds its first padded practice.

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Smith has technically taken part in some drills during training camp, but he has worked off on the side of the field by himself. He tested his leg in agility drills alongside team trainers and prompted praise from new head coach Ron Rivera. The former Carolina Panthers coach said that he was "pleasantly surprised" by how Smith looked.

When the Washington Football Team made Smith's return official, many fans commented and expressed their surprise that he is able to play football again after such a devastating injury. Others said that he is a "shoo-in" for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. This annual honor is given to the player that returns from either a major injury or a terrible season to perform at a high level once again. It's unknown if Smith will take the starting job in Washington from second-year player Dwayne Haskins, but many fans didn't care. They just want to see Smith win the award.