Smith hasn't abandoned hope of playing in the NFL after suffering a devastating leg injury in November.
Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith plans on playing in the NFL again after recovering from the compound fracture he suffered in November.
In his first public comments since the injury, Smith told Fox 5 DC's Angie Goff that he hasn't abandoned hope of returning to the field, even though he knows it will be a long road to get there.
"That's the plan," he told Goff. "There are steps I've got to conquer before I get there. ... Learning to run again. That's a big one. I'm already throwing. Throwing isn't a problem, but dropping, moving around, change of direction.
"The steps I'm at now are lifestyle steps," Smith added. "I'm still working on playing basketball with my kids and running around after my daughter. Those are things I have to conquer anyway until I get to the point where I'm walking on the field. I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited about that challenge. The stronger I get every week, the more I do, the more hopeful I am that that's a real possibility."
Smith suffered a compound fracture in his right leg during a Nov. 18 loss to the Houston Texans. He underwent multiple surgeries shortly thereafter but battled an infection following the procedure that was feared to be career-ending.
Smith, 35, said he must wear an external fixator for another four to six weeks, completing the seven months he is required to wear the device.
"It's crazy looking and it sucks what happened, but at the same time, people out there have it way worse," Smith said. "Life happens, and for me, I feel like this is a time for me being tested and having a challenge in front of me, and how can I handle it?"
The Redskins selected Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, pegging him as the quarterback of the future. The team also has Case Keenum and Colt McCoy under contract through the season.
Smith played seven seasons with the 49ers and five with the Chiefs before being traded to the Redskins in 2018. He signed a four-year, $94 million with Washington shortly afterward, a deal that included $71 million in guaranteed money.
Smith has thrown for a career 34,068 yards, 193 touchdowns and 101 interceptions. He had 2,180 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions before the injury last season.