"He handled it very well. He's done a great job and it's a hell of a story."
Smith completed 9 of 17 passes for 37 yards and did not throw a touchdown or an interception in the setback.
He began the year as Washington's third-string quarterback, but was elevated into the No. 2 role after Week 4. Washington starter Kyle Allen was forced out of the game just before halftime due to an arm injury.
Allen sustained his arm injury when he was sacked by Jalen Ramsey 2:21 before halftime.
Smith then completed a six-yard pass to J.D. McKissic on his first pass attempt since he broke the fibula and tibia in his right leg on Nov. 18, 2018. His long road back to the field included 17 surgeries and a life-threatening infection.
"I'd be lying if I said there weren't a lot of days I didn't think it was going to happen," Smith said of his return. "You've just got to keep pushing through.
"I always felt when I had my darkest moments, there was always something around the corner that happened and I kept plugging along. ... And for me the biggest ones were the last six to eight weeks, getting on the field and knowing I can do it and doing it consistently."
Smith threw an incomplete pass on his next attempt before he was sacked by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Smith led Washington to a field goal on his next drive.
"The first hit felt good," Smith said. "It was nice to know that I was fine out there. It was nice to knock the cobwebs off."
Smith went on to take two more sacks from Donald, two from Troy Reeder and another from Jachai Polite and failed to lead a single scoring drive in the second half.
The Rams outgained the Rams 429 to 108 in total yards. Los Angeles held Washington to 70 passing yards and 38 rushing yards. Washington allowed eight sacks in the loss.
Allen completed 9 of 13 passes for 74 yards before his departure. He was cleared to return to the game, but stayed on the sideline for the second half. Allen is expected to return to his starting role going forward.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff completed 21 of 30 passes for 309 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Reeder had seven tackles a three sacks in the win. Donald had four sacks and a forced fumble.
"It was great to be out there," Smith said. "The feeling, the range of emotions -- the good and the bad -- is why I fought so hard to come back. I think sometimes you can take it for granted, and certainly being away from it for a couple of years, I've missed it.
"It was good to be back in it rolling, and like I said, we'll look at the film and get better and keep moving forward."
The Rams (4-1) face the San Francisco 49ers at 8:20 p.m. EDT on Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif. Washington (1-4) battles the New York Giants at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.