Football Team

QB isn't only spot Washington will be shorthanded at in Week 15

Football Team

With Alex Smith ruled out and Dwayne Haskins now starting for Washington, the Football Team is clearly turning to Plan B at quarterback. 

Unfortunately, that isn't the only position they'll be shorthanded at when they take on Seattle on Sunday.

Jack Del Rio's defense will be down two of its linebackers, as Cole Holcomb is in concussion protocol and Kevin Pierre-Louis will be unable to go due to an ankle injury.

Those two don't carry the same weight as Smith does, but their losses will matter against the Seahawks. Holcomb has really made a difference since becoming a regular in the lineup in mid-October, while Pierre-Louis is someone whose speed could've been useful across from a dangerous offense.

At running back, meanwhile, Antonio Gibson was listed on Friday as doubtful for the Week 15 contest. Gibson did take the field for some individual drills in Washington's final practice before the game and Rivera took some time to intently watch him work, but the turf toe is definitely still a problem.

"We got to a certain point, but you could tell he didn’t want to go a little further," Rivera said of Gibson's level of activity on Friday. "That tells me he’s not where we need him to be. Again, as you watch him you have to be smart about the decisions we make."

 

As he tends to do, Rivera made a point that how Gibson feels on Saturday will be key before truly making a call on his status. However, with how gimpy he appeared to be on Friday, there can't be much optimism that he's about to return.

Understandably, Smith was the headliner on the end-of-week injury report; he's been so valuable for Washington during their winning streak and there could be a major drop-off without him. The most educated consumers know you can't just read the headlines, though, and those who paid attention to the banged up players besides Smith get that their absences are notable and harmful as well.