Alex Smith had the absolute best comeback story in recent sports history this past year. In fact, it was such an impressive feat, many are claiming the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award be named after him. However, after 16 years in the NFL and making the spectacular comeback after his gruesome leg injury, Smith has hung up the cleats and is heading into retirement.
Even so, there seems to be some bad blood between the Smith family and the Washington Football Team. Alex Smith and his father believe Washington sabotaged his return to the NFL, per Sports Illustrated. According to them, the coaching staff put Smith through a whirlwind of tests to the extent that he had never experienced before in his career. Everything from having him carry extra weight, pushing sleds and hurdle bags for drills, these were tasks he had never done in 15 pro seasons, let alone before his leg had to be rebuilt.
The Smith family was left upset, and his father Doug says he believes the team ‘sabotaged' the return, per Sports Illustrated. Head coach Ron Rivera provided his point of view on the situation, as he spoke about what was on his mind throughout the season in regards to Alex Smith.
“I was scared to death about putting [Alex] back out there and that is something I struggled with every day. It's unfortunate that he feels we patronized him because I can tell you that was not our intention. At the end of the day, I commend Alex because he proved everyone wrong and exceeded any reasonable expectations that anyone had set for him. He not only made it back onto the field but led us to the playoffs. It was a truly remarkable feat.”
It makes sense as to why Alex Smith, his father, and the rest of the family are confused by Rivera's approach to playing Smith. However, after suffering such a gruesome injury, who can blame him? Hopefully this is something both sides can come to terms with as time goes on.