Nov 15, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass against the Detroit Lions during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

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Smith might be Washington’s best QB option for 2021

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera is starting to believe his 2021 quarterback is on the current roster. A guy named Alex Smith.

Rivera has been impressed with Smith’s production over the past two weeks as the 36-year-old has put up yardage outputs of 325 and 390 yards after replacing injured Kyle Allen (ankle).

Smith has gone from feel-good story to the best quarterback option for the Washington Football Team. Smith suffered a gruesome right leg injury two years ago, a setback so severe that amputation was a possibility. He endured 17 surgeries before he was deemed clear to return to football earlier this year.

“You judge him by his performance,” Rivera told reporters on Monday. “You don’t get caught up in his story, you don’t get caught up in his age. Now, when you talk about going forward, now you talk about these other things.”

Other things typically include the contract for an older NFL player. Smith is due $40 million in base salary over the next two seasons as part of a four-year, $94 million pact.

Also, can Smith be counted on to perform at a high level over a 17-game NFL season? That will be part of the evaluation process.

“You’ve got to look at how much longer do you think he can play? How much longer does he want to play? And if so, is he part of your plan? That’s something that we as a coaching staff and as an organization have to talk about, most certainly if this continues, if he continues to play at this high level.”

The one thing Rivera does know is the old Alex Smith is now on the field for Washington. At least it appeared that way as Smith completed 38 of 55 passes against the Detroit Lions in his first start since suffering the compound fracture of the right tibia and a fracture of the right fibula in a game against the Houston Texans on Nov. 18, 2018.

“He’s pretty much back,” Rivera said. “There’s still some things that he still has to work on, and he knows that, and he’ll continue to work on them, but this really was his first full week of work. But I think that he’s proven that he’s back as the player, and again, that’s something that we’re going to most certainly discuss going forward.”

Smith was also encouraged despite the team’s 30-27 setback. He has been sacked 10 times in three appearances and the leg has held up fine.

“That was the scary part is how normal it felt,” Smith said of Sunday’s game. “I’ve got to pinch myself how lucky I am to feel that way. I’m lucky to progress this far and that I am where I am.”

Smith was a three-time Pro Bowler in five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs (2013-17) before being traded to Washington. He also was the No. 1 overall selection of the San Francisco 49ers in 2005 and started 75 games for that franchise.

Perhaps another factor in Smith’s favor for next season is that Rivera doesn’t appear overly fond of 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. Rivera inherited Haskins and recently said the quarterback needs to work on his preparation skills.

Haskins began the season as the starter and passed for 939 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions before losing the job to Allen. He was sacked 13 times in four games.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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