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Alex Smith plays in first NFL game since gruesome leg injury in November 2018

Alex Smith made his long-anticipated return to NFL action Sunday, almost two years after suffering a gruesome leg injury that doctors said threatened his life and nearly necessitated amputation.

The Washington Football Team quarterback completed nine of 17 passes for 37 yards amid persistent rain in a relief effort during a 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He also took six sacks.

Smith entered the game against the Los Angeles Rams late in the second quarter after starter Kyle Allen took a hit from cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Allen was cleared to return in the second half, but Smith remained in the game.

“Very surreal at first,” Smith said after the game of being back on the field. “To have it happen as fast as it did was probably almost a blessing. … It was kind of nice in that situation not having to think about it. You just go out and do it.”

Smith, 36, was on the game day active roster Sunday for the first time since breaking the fibula and tibia in his right leg in a November 2018 game against the Houston Texans. He underwent 17 separate surgeries and missed the entire 2019 campaign while recovering.

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Landover, Md.

"In the NFL world, I'm an old guy," Smith said in August of his comeback attempt. "I'm a dinosaur. But in the bigger aspect of life, I'm 36 years old. I have three little kids. I have the rest of my life in front of me. Selfishly, I'm even doing this for them, as crazy as that sounds. I know if I can go out there and play quarterback, I can do anything else in life."

Smith entered the day as the backup after Dwayne Haskins, who started the first four games, was benched and Allen was promoted to starter.

Allen completed nine of 13 passes for 74 yards before exiting.