Alex Smith injures leg, replaced by Dwayne Haskins in win over 49ers

Alex Smith suffered a calf injury during the first half of Washington’s game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday and didn’t take the field for the second half.

With Washington leading 13-7, Dwayne Haskins replaced Smith for Washington’s first drive after halftime.

Head coach Ron Rivera told Fox’s Jennifer Hale that athletic trainers were working on Smith’s calf to loosen it up with hope that he could return to the game. He was seen walking on the sideline as Haskins played, but didn’t return as Washington logged a 23-15 win to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

Washington won without scoring a touchdown on offense thanks largely to a pair of defensive touchdowns. Haskins completed 7 of 12 pass attempts for 51 yards without a turnover in a half of play

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) scrambles against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Alex Smith's injury is to the same leg that suffered a horrific compound fracture in 2018. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Injury is to leg that Smith broke in 2018

The calf injury is to the same leg that required extensive surgeries after Smith suffered a horrific compound fracture and subsequent infection in 2018. The injury forced him to miss more than a full season of football.

Head coach Ron Rivera downplayed the seriousness of Sunday’s injury and told reporters that halftime X-Rays came back negative.

“He strained the calf, basically,” Rivera said, per The Washington Post’s Sam Fortier.

Smith required 17 procedures to repair his leg and subdue the life-threatening infection that followed the fracture and initial operations. He returned as Washington’s starter this season after Haskins was benched and Kyle Allen suffered a leg injury.

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