Quarterback Alex Smith’s grueling road to recovery chronicled in ESPN program

(CNN) — NFL quarterback Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury that put his career in jeopardy and had him fighting for his life, and his long and grueling road to recovery is chronicled in an upcoming one-hour program from ESPN called “Project 11.”

The leg injury occurred November 18, 2018, in the third quarter of a game between the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans. After being sacked by the Texans’ J.J. Watt and Kareem Jackson, Smith suffered a spiral and compound fracture of the right tibia and fibula.

Smith nearly lost his life to sepsis, a life-threatening condition that happens when a person’s body has an extreme response to an infection. He nearly had to have his leg amputated.

Smith has had to undergo 17 surgeries since he suffered the injury.

“Project 11,” a special edition of the ESPN newsmagazine program “E60,” debuts Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

“No NFL player has ever been through what Alex Smith has,” said Andy Tennant, “E60” 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 E60 is incredible and viewers will see a story of strength, dedication and perseverance.”

Smith has said his goal is to return to the field.

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