Chris Simms wonders if Alex Smith still has the mobility to play QB originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
For the first time in nearly two years, Alex Smith will be the starting quarterback of the Washington Football Team come Sunday afternoon.
However, as Smith is set to make his first start since suffering that gruesome, life-threatening leg injury two Novembers ago, the conversation is no longer about the remarkable recovery he's completed to get to this point.
Sunday isn't Smith's first return to action, as he's already played in two games this season. Against Detroit, he must show he's still capable of being an effective NFL quarterback.
Not everyone is fully convinced that Smith can still play, though.
In an interview with the Washington Football Talk podcast, NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms said he wonders whether the 36-year-old still has the mobility needed it takes to play quarterback in the NFL.
"Alex Smith, have we seen him run yet? Can he move around and do those types of things?" Simms said.
Simms' take is not a personal indictment on Smith by any means. The fact that Smith is where he is today is nothing short of incredible.
But, the quarterback position requires a lot more mobility now than it ever had before. Prior to his injury, using his legs to make plays was a big part of Smith's game. His athleticism helped him by effective in San Francisco, Kansas City, and even Washington pre-injury.
Since returning to action, Smith has seemed hesitant to use his legs to extend plays. Understandably so. But at some point, he's going to need to use his legs to make a play, and Simms isn't sold that Smith is capable of doing so just yet.
"I know you can do it on the practice field, but with the intensity of playing and doing all that, it's just different," Simms said. "I don't know."
The analyst also pointed to Smith's three interceptions last week, saying Smith made some mistakes throwing the ball he wouldn't expect a veteran of his nature to make.
"There have been some good results, but I don't think they're mind-blowing," Simms said. "We saw some mistakes by him last week, too. We know what Alex Smith is, and that's where I'm a little surprised."
While Simms isn't sold on Smith returning to his pre-injury form, he's hoping the veteran will be able to prove him wrong.
"I'm rooting for Alex Smith, but I hold my breath, too," Simms said. "I hope he's healthy out there. I hope he can do it."