Report: Redskins expect Alex Smith to miss 2019

Brian Tinsman
January 27, 2019 - 3:48 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


"He is moving around and well on his way to a recovery," Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen said of quarterback Alex Smith during his first public comments in more than a year, earlier this week at the Senior Bowl. "We're optimistic."

The public face of optimism has never been a problem for Allen and the Redskins, but the real question is: optimistic for what?

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According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the organization's true feelings are much more sober about Smith and his leg. Here's what he tweeted on Sunday:

This has always been the concern with Smith's injury, which is similar to the injury that ended Joe Theismann's career. Even with the advances in state-of-the-art medicine, Smith's recovery has been mired by complications due to infection, and has required more than six surgical procedures.

When he appeared at the Washington Wizards game last week, he was sporting an external fixator, a cage-looking cast designed to hold the bones in place after the initial rods are screws became infected and removed. To say that he's "moving around well" is to say that he's learned to use crutches well, to keep his weight off of his right leg.

Smith's return to the football field, especially when factoring in his age (soon to be 35), is simply not guaranteed.

Even if he took off 2019 and got completely healed and back in shape, he would return for his age-36 season in 2020. If he's still the best option for the team at that point, that probably says more about the team than it does about Smith.

Ideally, the Redskins find an inexpensive, long-term answer at the position this offseason. Either way, the Redskins are back in the market.


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