'Really affected me': Alex Smith explains how calf injury limited him vs. 49ers

Peter Hailey
·2 min read

'Really affected me': Smith on how calf limited him vs. 49ers originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Alex Smith's right leg is once again at the center of the discussion for Washington football fans, as the quarterback is dealing with a calf injury that prevented him from practicing on Wednesday and may prevent him from suiting up on Sunday.

Despite his shaky status for the matchup with Seattle, Smith did take to the podium after Wednesday's session for a press conference with reporters — one that, unsurprisingly, was dominated with questions about how he's feeling. 

The most notable part of the back-and-forth came in the portions where the quarterback went in-depth on the actual issue. It was something he apparently noticed last week, but he labeled it "very minor" and explained he had no problems with it when preparing to face the 49ers.

It was when he faced the 49ers that it began to truly bother him.

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"Quickly, obviously got worse to the point where it really, really affected me and my ability, certainly dropping back and being able to decelerate and push off," Smith said. "Felt like it was affecting me a ton, especially on those last several drives, really battling with that mentally, how much it was affecting me and limiting me out there."

Phrases and words such as "really affecting me," "battling" and "limiting" are quite concerning to hear from a starting QB, and the deeper into the contest that Smith got, the more he wondered whether he should be taking snaps.

"'Am I helping us being out there?'" he recalled asking himself.

Just before the end of the first half, Smith exited the lineup and Dwayne Haskins entered. Haskins took a knee to end the second quarter and then proceeded to lead the offense the rest of the way in a 23-15 victory.

While Smith didn't have much interest in comparing his current health to what it was against San Francisco, he did express confidence that he could play versus the Seahawks even if he's unable to practice at all leading up to that tilt. As the 36-year-old put it, he's got some decent experience in the league by now.

Looking forward, Washington will go through additional on-field work on Thursday and Friday, giving Smith a couple more chances to get out there with the rest of his teammates. As long as he's absent, Haskins will take the starter's reps and Smith will focus on his recovery. He's undeniably handled much, much worse, but this leg injury is by no means something he's taking lightly.