693 days. That’s how long it took for National Football League quarterback Alex Smith to return from his gruesome leg injury he suffered in November of 2018. It was announced Saturday afternoon that Smith would be active and serving as the backup to Kyle Allen. Sunday morning Smith got his chance to return under center for the Washington Football Team as he entered the game as Allen suffered an arm injury in the first half. Smith got to play in front of his family (no one else was allowed to attend the game). It did not take long for Smith to get welcomed back in the game as he was sacked six times, including three times by Aaron Donald. Even though Washington lost the game 30-10; it was an amazing and emotional sight to see Smith back on the field. As someone who suffered a similar injury, it truly hit home and I gave Smith a standing ovation from my couch.
As we welcomed back one player from recovery, another quarterback went down with a nightmarish injury. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a broken right ankle in the first half. When I saw it live, I immediately gasped and covered my mouth. Yes, I am a Cowboys fan, but to see anyone get injured of that magnitude is difficult to watch. To see him in tears as he rode off on the cart with his arm in the air saluting his teammates, just gave me a sick feeling in my stomach, I felt heartbroken.
Prescott had surgery on his ankle Sunday evening and from social media he seemed to be in high spirts. Staying positive in adversity is a key on the road to recovery. I have no doubt that Prescott will return next season and be as dynamic as he was pre-injury.
Before the season started Prescott and the Cowboys were in negotiations over a long term deal. Nothing ever got finalized. When high dollar contracts are discussed and holdouts are threatened, or no deal is reached; it is easy to say “selfish athletes or owners”. Well these injuries have given me a different point of few. These athletes (no matter what sport) are at high risk. They put their bodies and minds on the line and want to be able to take care of their family’s futures. I really think everyone’s point of view will now shift towards that instead of just blurting out ‘Selfish’.
Dennis D. Cruz is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.