Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has attacked the past 17 months with a singular focus: return to the football field.
Smith has been sidelined since Nov. 18, 2018, when he suffered a spiral compound fracture to his tibia and fibula in his right leg. He's since undergone 17 surgeries and countless hours of rehab -- all to achieve his ultimate goal of playing again.
"I still have dreams of getting back to where I was and getting back out there," Smith told reporters during the Redskins' locker room cleanout after the 2019 season. "This has been, obviously, a crazy ride with a lot of unforeseen turns, but without a doubt that's still my goal."
ESPN has been chronicling Smith's harrowing journey, and on Friday night, the network aired a special edition of E:60 titled "Project 11."
The hour-long documentary sheds light on "Smith's riveting story from lightly recruited high school quarterback to battle-tested former No. 1 draft pick fighting his way back from an injury that almost cost him everything," according to a press release about "Project 11."
With more than 50 hours of original video shot and 40 hours of archival material, the E:60 crew documented every aspect of Smith's life threatening road to recovery.
"No NFL player has ever been through what Alex Smith has," said Andy Tennant, E:60 executive producer. "He's normally a very private person but he wanted to document his road to recovery as well and as detailed as possible, with the hope that future players could use it as a road map. "The access that he and his family granted to E:60 is incredible and viewers will see a story of strength, dedication and perseverance."
Below are some clips from the episode, some of which may be graphic: