The Duel

Ron Rivera Provides Concerning Update on Alex Smith Injury

Isaiah De Los Santos
Washington head coach Ron Rivera provided a worrisome update about Alex Smith's injury.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera provided a worrisome update about Alex Smith's injury. / Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
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The Washington Football Team earned a gritty 20-14 win in Week 17 over the Philadelphia Eagles to clinch the NFC East and make the playoffs. It was clear in that game, though, that starting QB Alex Smith is still hampered by the calf strain that kept him out since Week 14.

With their QB1 hobbled, head coach Ron Rivera is preparing to utilize backup Taylor Heinicke if necessary in their Wild Card round game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Having to seriously consider rotating your quarterbacks in a playoff game just sounds like a dire situation, and it does little to improve Washington's already-slim chances against the Bucs. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Buccaneers as 8.5-point favorites in this Wild Card matchup.

Smith did manage to throw for two TDs against the Eagles, although it's clear Philadelphia wasn't actively trying to win that game. The veteran's 162 passing yards and 2 interceptions won't get it done when facing a prolific Tampa Bay offense.

Heinicke has gone from a practice squad addition to possibly playing snaps in a Wild Card game against Tom Brady, which would be another stop on his crazy journey through the NFL since being an undrafted rookie in 2015. He did put up 137 yards and 1 TD after relieving the since-released Dwayne Haskins in Week 16, so maybe Heinicke has some untapped magic in him.

Washington's QB situation has been a mess this season, and that hasn't changed heading into what could possibly be their last game of the year.


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