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ESPN will air a special on Alex Smith’s recovery from a devastating leg injury on Friday night

What drives Alex Smith

NFL: Washington Redskins-Training Camp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Smith was acquired via trade in 2018 from the Kansas City Chiefs to replace Kirk Cousins who had just signed a big free agent deal with the Minnesota Vikings. He lead the Redskins to a division-best 6-3 record heading into a Week 11 game against the Houston Texans. Everything changed for him and the Redskins when Kareem Jackson and J.J. Watt came crashing into the backfield. Smith suffered a spiral fracture and everyone immediately knew it was a serious injury. He was taken straight from the field to the operating room.

Smith’s injury was so severe that he spent weeks in the hospital while also dealing with infections. There are reports that he had 17 surgeries during the fight to save his leg, and his life. He also became septic twice, and there were serious concerns that his life was in danger

ESPN has been working with Mr. and Mrs. Smith to chronicle his recovery, and his goal to return to playing in the NFL for their E60 Project 11 documentary. They received total access to his rehabilitation process, and got them to open up about the entire ordeal, and Alex Smith’s drive to not only walk again, but to become a professional athlete again. People have varied opinions about Alex Smith as an NFL QB, but you can’t dismiss his drive and commitment to the game that he loves. This is must watch TV for any NFL fan.

The documentary debuts on Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN(Subscribe to ESPN+ here)