Alex Smith’s two-quarter absence may or may not be the entirety of his unavailability.
Washington coach Ron Rivera told reporters Monday the quarterback’s injury is still being evaluated. Smith suffered a leg injury that Rivera described as calf tightness, which kept Smith out of the final half of Washington’s win over San Francisco.
Backup and former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins “will be ready” to play in the event Smith cannot, Rivera said. Haskins completed 7 of 12 pass attempts for 51 yards in the defensively dominated victory over the 49ers.
Smith is in the middle of writing an incredible chapter in a truly unbelievable comeback story that includes his gruesome leg injury suffered in 2018, 17 surgeries to repair the injury and then save his leg and life as infection raged through him, and a long, grueling rehab that led him back to the team almost in an honorary form. When Washington realized Haskins wasn’t the answer, and backup Kyle Allen was knocked out for the season, Smith went from honorary to counted upon, and he’s largely delivered.
Washington’s Week 14 win was its fourth straight, and moved the Football Team into first place in the NFC East with three games left to play. Smith is 4-1 as Washington’s starter, a role he assumed in Week 10, and while Washington’s schedule has eased up a bit in that winning streak, the Football Team also became the first to take down previously undefeated Pittsburgh. If it hopes to get to the postseason in one of the more unlikely playoff pushes one will ever see (thank you, putrid NFC East), its best chance remains with Smith taking snaps.
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