Smith has been out of action since suffering a severe leg injury in 2018 that required numerous surgeries and a decision about amputation that left Smith feeling lucky to be alive. It did not leave him feeling like a return to action was out of reach and Rivera told Mike Tirico on Tuesday that he doesn’t doubt the quarterback’s resolve.
Rivera added that Smith’s determination will only take him so far as there are physical milestones he has to hit before any comeback thoughts can be taken seriously.
“The one thing that he and I talked about, more than anything else, is he’s got to be able to protect himself out on the football field before anything can happen, before we can allow him back on the field,” Rivera said. “He’s doing a great job, he’s working hard. He’s carrying himself the right way. He’s doing things the way he’s supposed to and we’ll see.”
Rivera said he hopes to have a clearer picture on Smith’s outlook at some point in late August.