For those familiar with Alex Smith’s story, the honor was not a surprise.
The former University of Utah quarterback was named the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year during the 10th annual NFL Honors ceremony on Saturday night.
He had already been named the league’s comeback player of the year in several superlative lists released in previous weeks by national publications.
This honor comes after Smith returned from a devastating leg injury in 2018 that nearly led to the amputation of his leg. He started the 2020 season on Washington’s active roster, then returned to the field in Week 5 to replace an injured Kyle Allen.
Four weeks later, Allen went on injured reserve and Smith took over the starting role full-time, leading the team to a 5-1 record during his starts and helping Washington reach the postseason by winning the NFC East division title.
Among the highlights of the year for Smith was leading Washington to an upset win over then-undefeated Pittsburgh in Week 13. He threw for 296 yards and a touchdown as the 4-7 Washington beat the 11-0 Steelers.
On the year, Smith threw for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions while competing 66.6% of his passes.