Even if he doesn't play a single down this season, Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith should be a favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year. After suffering a gruesome leg injury that almost cost him his life, Smith was recently cleared to participate in football activities and was activated by the club. While this is an incredible accomplishment in itself, Smith isn't here to embrace the heart-warming narrative -- he's here to compete. The former No. 1 overall pick is going to push Dwayne Haskins for the starting job, but there is one more thing he has to figure out before he feels 100 percent confident in himself: can he take a hit?

"I've thought that more than I can probably say," Smith said, via John Keim of ESPN. "That's been in the back of my head throughout this entire process. I've got to go out there and get hit; I've got to know that, obviously, my leg is strong enough to take it."

One has to wonder how strong Smith's right leg is. He broke his tibia, fibula, underwent 17 surgeries and wore an external fixator that was drilled into his leg in order to stabilize the bones in a proper position for eight months. Still, Smith said that he is making progress and that the practice session he was a part of on Wednesday was the best he has ever felt.

New head coach Ron Rivera knows that Smith being able to take a hit is important, but he first wants to see how he handles a pass rush and if his footwork is up to speed.

"The biggest thing for him is always gonna be about the footwork -- the quick feet, making quick decisions, stuff like that," Rivera said. "We've got to do that and we've got to see how he's moving. 

"We're not trying to hurry anybody through; that's why there is no timeline. We want to make sure if he has to play, he can protect himself."

It's unknown if Rivera anticipates hosting a true quarterback battle before the start of the regular season. With Smith coming back from a major injury, Washington may feel as though they don't want to rush the progress Smith has already made. But whenever this coaching staff does give him the opportunity, Smith is going to do everything he can to compete at a high level.