Alex Smith headed to the field on Sunday night, intending to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles and leading the Washington Football Team to the playoffs. This was a huge moment for Smith due to his return from a brutal leg injury and 17 surgeries, which created nervousness for his wife, Elizabeth. However, she revealed that she calmed herself by looking at his life-saving leg brace, which she had fashioned into a victory trophy.
Elizabeth posted two photos on Instagram that showed the before and after of the leg-saving brace. One featured the brace while it was still on Smith's leg. The other showed it in its new form and sitting on the shelf. Elizabeth revealed that Cold Hard Art had transformed the brace into a version of the Lombardi Trophy, which is awarded to the team that wins the Super Bowl.
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"Waiting for this game and I’m a nervous wreck," Elizabeth wrote on Instagram. "I look up at our bookshelves as a reminder of where we have been and the hard work to get to this moment. No matter the outcome, Alex has already won. He has beat the largest challenge life has thrown our way. I am incredibly proud and will be cheering loud. Let’s go Washington!"
Smith originally suffered the injury during a game against the Houston Texans. Kareem Jackson and JJ Watt sacked him, but Smith shattered two bones in his lower leg. He was rushed to the operating room and underwent a procedure in which surgeons pieced his tibia and fibula back together with 29 screws and two metal plates. However, the injury nearly became fatal due to a necrotizing fasciitis infection caused by bacteria from the field entering the wound.
The veteran quarterback underwent 17 surgeries to save his leg and his life and had to wear the brace for a considerable amount of time. He was ultimately able to make a full recovery and was cleared by team doctors to resume football activities prior to the 2020 season. He remained as the backup, however, while Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen took starting snaps.
Smith did ultimately complete his comeback in October when he took the field as an injury replacement for Allen against the Los Angeles Rams. He later became the starter and finished out the season for the Football Team. Although Smith missed Weeks 15 and 16 due to another injury before returning in the season finale and throwing two touchdowns.
Smith will now lead his team to the playoffs after winning the NFC East. He and the Football Team will face off with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the Wild Card round. If Smith leads his team to victory, he will move one step closer to securing the real-life Lombardi Trophy.