Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has not played the game of football since Nov. 18, 2018, the day he suffered a spiral and compound fracture on his right tibia and fibula in a game against the Texans.

The injury not only forced his hospitalization for a month — and eight more months of recovery — but also required 17 surgeries to repair. Smith, who said there was a genuine fear he would have to amputate his leg, said he was lucky to be alive.

While those details certainly paint a harrowing picture of his ordeal, none of it compares to the actual photo of his post-surgery leg — one that will air in a Friday E:60 documentary detailing Smith's injury and rehab. That photo leaked to social media on Tuesday, illustrating in gruesome detail the lengths he went through just to recover.

(Sporting News will not embed the photo, but it's linked here).

MORE: Smith reflects on horrific leg injury, says he has to learn to run again

Here's more on the documentary from ESPN:

Viewers will see:


Detailed explanation of the nature of Smith’s injury and why it was so serious.


Never before seen, sometimes graphic, images, provided by Smith and his family, of setbacks and progress.


Interviews with physicians who performed the 17 surgeries Smith has endured since the injury and who treated him throughout the process.


Scenes from Smith’s rehabilitation alongside U.S. military veterans who were injured in combat.

“No NFL player has ever been through what Alex Smith has,” E:60 executive producer Andy Tennant said in a statement. “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.”

Smith said he knew immediately the impact of his injury when he looked down and saw "my leg wasn’t straight." It forced Smith to miss the entirety of the 2019 season, though he has said he's still hopeful he can return to play in the NFL.

“I’m still determined (to play), still marching down the road, still optimistic,” Smith said. “I want to push it, for the challenge’s sake. I want to see what I’ve got. … I enjoy the challenge, even to this (recovery), coming out here and being with the guys.”

If Smith is able to return to the field, it may be one of the most amazing feats in NFL history.