What's next for Alex Smith?


Washington head coach Ron Rivera announced on Wednesday that second-year passer Dwayne Haskins would be the team's starting quarterback moving forward.

The move was not a surprising one. Haskins answered every question the new head coach asked of him since Rivera took over in January. Rivera even said he had felt strongly about naming Haskins the starter for three weeks before even doing so.

Rather, the more intriguing storyline in the Washington quarterback room is who will be the backup to Haskins -- Alex Smith or Kyle Allen -- come Sept. 13 in the team's Week 1 contest versus Philadelphia.

On Wednesday, Rivera said he hasn't made a decision yet, and that the media wouldn't know until Week 1 regardless.

The fact that Smith is even in the conversation to be active on gamedays is nothing short of remarkable. The 36-year-old suffered a gruesome leg injury in November of 2018, one so devastating Smith needed 17 surgeries to repair it.

Many never thought he would play football again. Yet, 20 months later, Smith was participating in 9-on-9 drills during training camp, and even got his first taste of 11-on-11 in a non-contact session.

Allen, on the other hand, was acquired via trade in March from Carolina, where he was already familiar with Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system.


In a normal offseason, Allen would have had more of a true competition with Haskins for the starting gig, but the lack of preseason games prevented that from happening.


Washington has until 4 p.m. on Saturday to trim its roster down to 53 players, and it's likely that Smith and Allen both make the roster.

Shortly after cuts are finalized, Washington could place Smith on Injured Reserve, citing the fact that he still is not ready for full contact. 

Based on Smith's lack of participation in 11-on-11 sessions and full-contact drills, it's hard to imagine that he'll be ready for true game action come Sept. 13. 

Still, Smith's journey back to football has already exceeded expectations by many. If there's one thing to know about Smith, it's to never count the 36-year-old out.