‘Felt Like the Biggest A**hole’- Ryan Fitzpatrick Reveals Text Message He Sent to Alex Smith After Gruesome Injury

Published 04/20/2021, 1:23 PM EDT
Nov 8, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) attempts a pass against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


Alex Smith had to overcome so much in the last 2 years. After a major injury in 2018, Smith underwent almost 20 reconstructive surgeries on his leg to get back to playing. Many in the NFL believed he would never be able to play again.

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However, Smith was able to prove the doubters wrong and made a triumphant return to the field. But Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t truly understand the severity of his injury in the beginning.

Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick spoke on the Green Light Podcast recently. He revealed the interaction he had with Alex Smith after the latter suffered the gruesome injury.

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Fitzpatrick noted that he sent Smith a text right after his injury, not knowing the full extent of it at the time, telling him that it will be okay and that he was able to recover from what he thought was a similar injury.

“When Alex (Smith) broke his leg in that game a few years ago, I had, what I thought, was a similar injury. I fractured my tibia in 2014 with the Houston Texans.

“The single worst text I’ve ever sent out, I sent it to Alex. I said, ‘Hey Alex, just want to let you know, they’ll fix you right up, you’ll be good as new. I’m out here and I don’t feel any pain from my injury 3 years later’ whatever.” 

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Ryan Fitzpatrick tried to console Alex Smith

Fitzpatrick noted that Smith replied to him, saying that his injury may be more complicated. However, even Fitzpatrick didn’t understand the full extent of the injury.

After 17 surgeries, Smith made a return to the NFL. Fitzpatrick revealed how happy he was for Smith, but how horrible he felt about sending that text.

Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) looks to pass during the first half against the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

“And I sent it and felt good about it. He said, ‘Well, mine might be a little more complicated’. And 17 surgeries later, the story of what he had to overcome, I mean, I felt like the biggest a**hole ever.

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“But what he did last year was incredible, for him to get back on the field. And I was very happy after sending that text that he didn’t lose his leg.”

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Alex Smith was able to prove everyone wrong and make a triumphant return to the game. In many ways, that was a major accomplishment.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1227 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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