Who is Alex Smith

NFL: Alex Smith announces end of career - end after comeback

In a two-minute Instagram video, the quarterback announced the end of his 16-year career in the NFL on Monday. "Although I could still play some snaps and have given it my all for 16 years, I'm looking forward to whatever else is possible," he said.

With this, Smith accomplishes a somewhat bizarre "feat": He ends his career as the reigning "Comeback Player Of The Year". As such, he had been honored after the previous season, after he had returned to the field almost two years after a terrible injury and had surprisingly led the Washington Football team as quarterback in the play-offs. In the elimination against the eventual Super Bowl winner Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he could not participate due to injury.

"Two years ago I was in a wheelchair ..."

The injury that Smith sustained in a 2018 game against the Houston Texans had caused great dismay around the world. The quarterback then had to be operated on a total of 17 times, the amputation of his right leg was in the room, even his life was at risk as a result of an infection of the inflamed leg.

The subsequent rehab time is central to Smith in his farewell video. "Two years ago I was in a wheelchair and didn't know whether I would ever go for a walk with my wife again or play with my children in the garden," says the 36-year-old. The prospect of being able to play football again was a key driver of his recovery.

Smith was drawn in 2005 as the first pick in the NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. In 2013 he reached the Super Bowl with the Niners (31:34 against the Baltimore Ravens) - but only as a substitute behind Colin Kaepernick. Smith then moved to the Kansas City Chiefs, whom he led into the play-offs four times before being replaced by Patrick Mahomes before the 2018 season and traded to Washington. Despite his "Comeback Player" award, the football team fired him in March. During his career, Smith was elected to the Pro Bowl a total of three times.