Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in a Week 11 loss to the Houston Texans. He had to be carted off, and underwent surgery for a broken right tibia and fibula right after the game. He then had complications from an infection, and was hospitalized for several weeks.
While he rehabs his leg during the offseason, the Redskins are not expecting him to be ready to play in 2019 and have started making other plans, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday. If he is able to play, the Redskins will be “pleasantly surprised.”
One storyline to follow for 2019: The #Redskins are planning as if they won’t have QB Alex Smith next season, sources say. They believe he’ll miss the entire season with his broken leg issues and are acting accordingly. If he’s ready, they will be pleasantly surprised.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 27, 2019
Smith made a public appearance last week at a Washington Wizards game, his first since he was released from the hospital. He was seen, however, in a bulky and complicated cast, confirming the severity of the injury and infections that followed.
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 21, 2019
While many have speculated that the injury will end up being career-ending for the 34-year-old, team president Bruce Allen said last week that he is “optimistic” that Smith will play again.
“He’s moving around and well on his way to a recovery,” Allen said, via the NFL Network. “It’s a tough thing for him and his family. All the love and care has helped him quite a bit.
“We’ll see how it goes. We’re optimistic. If anyone can come back, it’s Alex.”
The Redskins’ attempts to replace Smith last fall failed miserably. They first went with backup quarterback Colt McCoy, however he broke his leg against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13. The team then turned to Mark Sanchez briefly, before going with Josh Johnson to finish out the year. Johnson had not played in an NFL game since 2013 before he took the field for Washington in Week 14.
Allen, though, did not confirm whether they would be adding a quarterback to their roster during the offseason.
“We prioritize every position on the team,” Allen told the NFL Network last week. “And we’ll see what we get in free agency and the draft.”
Smith threw for 2,180 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, his 13th in the NFL. He signed a four-year, $94 million extension with the Redskins last March.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Djokovic blows past Nadal to win record seventh Australian Open
• Warriors hold off Celtics in potential NBA Finals preview
• Iole: Emelianenko’s legacy secure despite one-sided KO vs. Bader
• Sunday marks 19-year anniversary of Patriots hiring Belichick as head coach