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#pounditSaturday, May 15, 2021

Ryan Fitzpatrick shares great story about texting Alex Smith after injury

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Very few players can relate to the trauma Alex Smith went through when he suffered his devastating leg injury back in 2018, but Ryan Fitzpatrick initially thought he was one who could. The veteran quarterback quickly learned he was mistaken, and it sounds like he was quite embarrassed about it.

Smith suffered both a compound fracture and spiral fracture of his right tibia and fibula during Washington’s Nov. 18, 2018, game against the Houston Texans. Fitzpatrick, who broke his tibia in 2014, reached out to Smith following the injury to offer some words of encouragement. Fitzpatrick later ended up feeling like “an a–hole” when he learned just how serious Smith’s injury was.

During an appearance on the “Green Light” podcast with Chris Long, Fitzpatrick recalled the text message he sent to Smith.

“The single worst text I ever sent out was to Alex,” Fitzpatrick said. “I said, ‘Hey Alex, just want to let you know they’ll fix you right up and you’ll be as good as new. I’m out here and I don’t feel any pain from my injury three years later.’ I sent it and felt good about it and he said, ‘Well, mine might be a little more complicated.’ 17 surgeries later and the story of what he’s had to overcome, I felt like the biggest a–hole ever.”

Obviously, Fitzpatrick’s intentions were good. Few people fully understood the severity of Smith’s injury because it was so rare and gruesome. A documentary that aired last year gave us a better idea of just how horrifying the injury was.

Smith announced his retirement on Monday, but it’s incredible that he was able to play again after the injury. The commitment it took for him to get back on the field is something most athletes will — fortunately — never understand.

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