Everybody knows about Alex Smith’s devastating leg injury that almost ended his career, but not many might know how many concussions he suffered during his career.
In the wake of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s scary concussion last Thursday, the former 49ers quarterback joined Pablo Torre on the “ESPN Daily” podcast to discuss the NFL’s concussion protocol and his own history with concussions.
Smith famously suffered a concussion with the 49ers in 2012 and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick. He would never get his job back.
“I feel like I’m only just starting to reach my potential and we’re playing the Rams,” Smith recalled. “I took a really unnecessary, but a great, hit to the back of the head,” Smith said. “I tried to jump up, act like it didn’t phase me. And I did. I popped right back up, acted like nothing happened, and continued to play.”
Smith felt fine at first, but stated he realized something was not right a few plays later. He was “hiding symptoms at this point” until a quarterback sneak made it impossible to do that.
“We’re driving and completing passes and going and then we run a QB sneak,” Smith said. “I hate QB sneaks because of this, Pablo. I go down, and I hit the ground kind of diving and boom. Instantly, kind of, what I would call a star in my vision.”
He added he was never knocked out, but he tried to “blink this [star] off” and it wasn’t working.
Later in his 14-year NFL career, Smith suffered another concussion in 2016 as a member of the Chiefs. Smith took a hard hit to the head and was removed from the game and forced to undergo a series of tests to determine whether he had suffered a concussion.
He passed the test and was allowed to return to the field later in the game.
WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.
“I felt great,” Smith said about the immediate aftermath of his concussion while he was playing in Kansas City. “I went back in the game. Here’s a coach I have a ton of respect for, has coached football as long as anybody, right? The experts cleared me. I passed. Their metric of a concussion that I got through, and similarly to Tua shouldn’t have, and I got back into the game.”