Just two days before Washington's biggest game of the season, the status of Alex Smith and his calf injury still isn't clear. The quarterback is trending in the right direction, but Ron Rivera isn't ready to make a decision just yet.
What is clear, however, is that Washington is hoping that Smith will be the one under center in the must-win game. His experience and composure are things no one else on the depth chart possesses. Just ask Chase Young.
“I mean, he’s a manager. When you see him out there, you know he’s in control of the game," Young said to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "I talked to some of the quarterbacks today, they said on every single play Alex knows each option and knows where he’s going every time.”
“That’s crazy to me," Young said.
Young understands that with Smith controlling the offense, there is a smoothness and flow that is not always present when he has been on the sidelines. The numbers support that, as Washington is 10-5 with Smith as the starter since 2018, and just 6-26 without him.
Yet, should Smith be unable to play in Week 17, Young won't be stressing too much. Taylor Heinicke would most likely get the nod, and he's someone who the defensive end has quickly become a fan of.
When Heinicke took over for Dwayne Haskins in Week 16, Young and the quarterback shared a moment on the field that showed him just how much swag and confidence Heinecke has in his game.
Already sold, Young learned that Heinicke once threw for 730 yards during his college days at Old Dominion University. Now, the pass rusher sees him as a certified baller. Therefore, no matter who is under center Sunday night, Young will have trust in his quarterback.
“I did some research and found out he had like 750 yards in one game," Young said. "It doesn’t matter where you do that at, you have 750 yards in a game you can sling it.”
“He’s confident, he’s practicing well, paying attention to detail. I feel good with 4 going," Young said.