After 16 seasons in the NFL, and a comeback from a horrific injury that no one expected, former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith retired.
He made the announcement through a video posted on Instagram, wearing a t-shirt that said “Just Live.”
Smith began the video by talking about the injury that nearly took his leg and threatened his life.
“Two years ago I was stuck in a wheelchair staring down at my mangled leg, wondering if I’d ever be able to go on a walk with my wife again, or play games with my kids in the yard,” Smith said. “Putting my helmet on was the farthest thing from my mind. I just kept asking myself all this for a stupid game?”
He continued and addressed the 17 surgeries and grueling treatment he endured to save his leg and walk again.
“Then someone did something that changed my recovery completely. He put a football back in my hand,” Smith said. “I don’t know what it was, but all of a sudden I felt stronger, more driven and what once seemed impossible began to come into focus.”
The post shows video of Smith rehabbing through the two NFL seasons he missed because of the leg injury, slowly getting stronger and returning to a football field.
“But football wouldn’t let me give up because no, this isn’t just a game. It’s not just what happens between those white lines on a Sunday afternoon,” Smith said. “It’s about the challenges and the commitment they require. It’s about how hard and how far you can push yourself.”
Smith then took time to thank the fans who supported him while he played for the Chiefs, the 49ers and the Washington Football Team.
“To everyone out there, whether you’re a part of Niner Nation, the Chiefs Kingdom or the Burgandy and Gold, I thank you. To all the men I had the privilege of standing with and playing alongside, thank you. I want to say thank you for believing in me and thank you for believing in myself … and in the impossible,” Smith said.
Smith ended the video saying he can’t wait to take that walk with his wife, his kids don’t know what they’re in for, and he is excited to see what’s next for him.