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SanDiegoUnionTribune.com: The good news, the reality for Alex Smith

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https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/profootballdoc/sd-sp-pfd-alex-smith-leg-surgery-recovery-return-redskins-0121-story.html

 

 

 
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Redskins quarterback Alex Smith looks on from a box during the second half of the game between the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons. (Rob Carr / Getty Images)
ProFootballDocContact ReporterSports Medical Analyst
 

Redskins quarterback Alex Smith was spotted in public Monday in the owner’s suite at the Wizards game.

He also visited the locker room.

 

Alex Smith made an appearance in the Wizards locker room.

 
 

This brought lots of questions about the "crazy brace" or contraption on his leg.

 

Smith’s appearance provided confirmation he has an external fixator on his leg, which serves to hold the bones in place since the hardware from from his initial surgery had to be removed, as we initially discussed six weeks ago.

 

When Smith was discharged from the hospital, this is what we expected to be hidden under the Redskins blanket draped over his legs.

 

 
 

Specifically, Smith has a ring external fixator called an Ilizarov device on his right lower leg. The device has sequential rings outside that are connected to each other, and there are spoke-like wires that pierce through his leg and are connected to the rings. The origination of this type of external fixator was in rural Russia and, in fact, in the early days actual bicycle spokes were, used as that was what was available.

This confirms some of the fears that Smith has suffered significant complications. The initial thought was that he would be able to return for the start of next season. However, with the infection and multiple surgeries, including the now-confirmed report of his initial hardware implants being removed, this lengthens the recovery.

 

The good news is he should not lose his leg.

 

The bad news is he likely has several surgeries and procedures still to come, including the ultimate removal of his ring external fixator. At this point, there is no way he will be ready for the start of the coming season. In fact, he may never be able to play.

The next thing to watch for are reports of a free flap graft.

This is where there is exposed bone from the debridement of infected tissue and where doctors take a muscle from another part of his body and reconnect it to the leg area to cover the exposed area where infected tissue was removed.

If this happens (or has happened), that would make it hard for Smith to return to football at all.

 

The Redskins had another star player get an infection after surgery this year. Derrius Guice had ACL surgery with Redskins team physician Dr. James Andrews, but that procedure would have been in Pensacola, Florida, and should have no relation to these procedures performed by different doctors in a different location.

The initial reports on Smith were that the bone stuck through the skin and the urgent surgery was to prevent infection. The infection, even though Smith should be over that by now, is what leads to this cascade of further procedures and issues.

The hope is Smith can continue to recover and return to football if he chooses. But his team will need to find a new starting quarterback for the beginning of 2019 and likely beyond.

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None of that sounds promising.  When the good news is you wont lose your leg, you've got bigger fish to fry than trying to play football again.  Especially at his age and this stage of his career. It's over.

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Wow. 

 

Well, he's undefeated against Dallas. I'll remember him fondly for that. 

 

What a terrible injury. I blame Bill Callahan. 

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What a shame...to think what could have been..it was rocky the first 6 weeks..his play that being but I guess we'll never know what could have developed.

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He's never playing again. I hope that the rest if his procedures go well and the leg doesn't cause too many problems in his everyday life. 

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Too bad that this guy had to walk in to Daniel Snyder's curse but who among us wouldn't endure this same injury for 70+ Million dollars of free money?

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That's a good read for outlining what he's gone through (and may have to endure in the near future). Screw football. Dude should focus on his health and recovery, and his family and just enjoying life; could've lost his doggone leg. Happy to see him out and about, though. I can imagine being cooped up in the house must've been driving him nuts.

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Hope Alex is ok, there are obviously more important things than football.    He'd be great at grooming a young guy if they drafted one this year or next.  Though i wouldn't blame him for feeling mixed about doing so.  He did so it for Mahomes.  

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He's up and walking around?!?!?!?   This is awesome news!!!

 

 

While of course I want his health and well being to be his top priority, I can't say that a bit of me isn't praying that not only does he come back but wishes he comes back and wins comeback player of the year.  He deserves it after everything he has been through.

 

 

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First of all, I've never had to recover from anything like this but have been "down and out" for a fraction of this amount of time with smaller things. Even feeling like **** for a week, it's often a ray of light to go to a game or party or out to dinner. I bet yesterday was something Smith couldn't wait to do on a personal level to feel human again. 

 

Secondly, on the football front, this sounds awful. I kind of wrote off 2019 about a month ago but now don't think he'll play again. 

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**** the money... He's earned every penny for taking a life altering injury for this team. He shouldn't play another down. Maybe the Comp Committee should address Salary Cap relief for Catastrophic Injury such as these.

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17 minutes ago, hawgboy said:

Maybe the Comp Committee should address Salary Cap relief for Catastrophic Injury

 

The problem with this is that it would lead to an increase in the share of profits given to players.  In this situation, if we got the $71M in cap back, and then spent it on other players, it would mean the players overall got $71M more, and the owners $71M less, than if Alex Smith had stayed healthy.

 

It also leads to situations where teams stuck with bad contracts (like the Alex Smith contract) get a cap benefit from the player's injury.  Do you really want to set up that incentive?

 

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2 minutes ago, Tsailand said:

 

The problem with this is that it would lead to an increase in the share of profits given to players.  In this situation, if we got the $71M in cap back, and then spent it on other players, it would mean the players overall got $71M more, and the owners $71M less, than if Alex Smith had stayed healthy. 

 

It also leads to situations where teams stuck with bad contracts (like the Alex Smith contract) get a cap benefit from the player's injury.  Do you really want to set up that incentive? 

 

Agreed.

 

The entire purpose of the cap and current contract structures are for situations like this.

 

The teams have the option to purchase insurance to mitigate potential losses like the one we have here. The Redskins made the decision to purchase whatever insurance they have for Alex.

 

Unfortunately this situation is part of the game.

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7 minutes ago, Tsailand said:

 

The problem with this is that it would lead to an increase in the share of profits given to players.  In this situation, if we got the $71M in cap back, and then spent it on other players, it would mean the players overall got $71M more, and the owners $71M less, than if Alex Smith had stayed healthy.

 

It also leads to situations where teams stuck with bad contracts (like the Alex Smith contract) get a cap benefit from the player's injury.  Do you really want to set up that incentive?

 

Noted.

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2 minutes ago, Tay said:

The teams have the option to purchase insurance to mitigate potential losses like the one we have here.

 

Even with insurance, there's a possible perverse incentive when a player underperforms his contract.  Still, an insurance company is better equipped to handle this than the NFL is.

 

 

2 minutes ago, Tay said:

The Redskins made the decision to purchase whatever insurance they have for Alex.

 

Last I heard it was $12M?

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13 hours ago, TK said:

The Redskins had another star player get an infection after surgery this year. Derrius Guice had ACL surgery with Redskins team physician Dr. James Andrews, but that procedure would have been in Pensacola, Florida, and should have no relation to these procedures performed by different doctors in a different location.

 

 

 

That's the first I've heard of Guice having an infection.

How much did it set him back ?

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I said when it happened that a doctor friend, who was watching the game with me, said she wouldn't be surprised if his career was over now.  I got flack from a couple of people on this board for that, but at least i know now that my friend knows her ****. :)  I hope the best for Alex and his recovery.  Unfortunately for the team and the fans, the contract and lack of insurance for such a high contract on an older player is just another addition to the list of Bruce Allen screw ups and decisions that have crippled this franchise.

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Get well soon Alex!

So far I see that he's lucky that his leg has not be amputated. Maybe, just maybe he'll be able to walk without a cane. But as far as his playing career goes, it's over. :(

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1 hour ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

 

That's the first I've heard of Guice having an infection.

How much did it set him back ?

Just a year or two. Should be fine for the 2021 season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok just joshing he apparently will be ready to go for Training camp.

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