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Alex Smith - "Project 11" Debuts Friday

Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in late November of 2018, his first year with the Washington Redskins. He hasn't played since. Now we see some of the journey.

This Friday night - ESPN will debut "Project 11" a documentary on the recovery of Washington Redskins Quarterback Alex Smith. 

It's a curious time to lift the curtain on something that figures to endear and emotionally tug at the most sensitive of sports fans. 

Instead, we will have some gory images and heart-wrenching tales about Smith's road to just being able to walk again, never mind to play in the NFL. 

"My focus is to get out there and play again,"  Smith told reporters in late December.

The Redskins and the Smith family are clearly behind this presentation and Smith deserves nothing but kudos for being incredibly tough.

There's the human side of this and what Smith told and reporters at the end of the year. He struggles with the reality that his injury essentially led to coaches and executives getting fired in 2019. 

"In a lot of ways I feel, injuries are a part of the game," Smith said in the lead video above after he address the possible competition between Dwayne Haskins and Smith.

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"You do feel a little bit like you've hamstrung the team, with what's gone on and how long it's gone on. So there's some responsibility you do feel there, as a player, that I feel there." 

It's not know exactly if Smith will be able to return to the NFL at some point but he'll keep pushing in his recovery until he decides that's enough. 

There's a sensitive contract situation that looms ahead for the Redskins next year after being saddled with a $20+ million cap charge last year and a $21+ million charge this year because of the guarantees in Smith's extension upon being traded from Kansas City. 

Next year, the money in Smith's contract is not guaranteed, so what the Redskins will eventually do is unknown. 

As tough as this is to say, Smith's cap charge has put the Redskins at an enormous disadvantage from a competitive financial standpoint. 

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Chris Russell is the Publisher of & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.