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Former 49ers QB Alex Smith returns to NFL after a nearly 2-year absence

It has been 693 days since the former No. 1 pick has taken a snap.

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The year 2020 has been full of negatives, but Week 5 of the 2020 NFL regular season is giving us a reason to smile. Former San Francisco 49ers’ first-round draft pick Alex Smith returned to the field on Sunday for the first time since suffering a gruesome leg injury in November 2018.

Smith was called upon when the Washington Football Team’s starting quarterback Kyle Allen got hurt after a hard hit by Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams. Smith entered the game late in the second quarter and helped Washington get a field goal before the half.

It has been 693 days since Smith hurt his leg in a game against the Houston Texans. The first overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft has had 17 surgeries since the injury to correct the issue, so it is great to see him back on the field.

Smith helped the 49ers make the NFC Championship game during the 2011 season and was playing the best football of his career under then San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh. He eventually lost his job to Colin Kaepernick after getting hurt in the middle of the 2012 season, which led to his departure.

The 36 year old spent eight seasons with the Niners. He threw for 14,280 yards, 81 touchdowns, and 63 interceptions. Smith started 75 games for San Francisco, finishing his time in the Bay Area with a record of 38-36-1.

Washington ultimately lost 30-10 to the Rams on Sunday, but it was great to see Smith back on the field and hopefully he stays healthy for the rest of the season.