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After long silence, Alex Smith reveals his plan to play football again

After long silence, Alex Smith reveals his plan to play football again

Alex Smith suffered a gruesome broken leg last November, and his recovery has been anything but simple. The injury got infected, which required more surgery, and for the last few months Smith has been walking with an external fixator on his leg, an intense looking circular metal device running from his knee to his foot with screws into his bones.

It's fairly obvious Smith won't play this season, but the Redskins never seemed to fully commit to releasing the veteran quarterback. Smith remains under contract through 2022 with guaranteed money on his deal at least through 2020. 

Washington's long-term plan at quarterback changed dramatically in April when the team drafted Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State with the 15th overall pick. It's possible Haskins doesn't play right away this season, but a first-round QB needs to be on the field sooner than later. 

Haskins is now the Redskins franchise quarterback, and all of that makes Smith's first public comments since his injury that much more interesting.

Speaking with Angie Goff of Fox5DC, Smith revealed where he is in his recovery and his hopes for the future.

"The first four months were really really hard," Smith said, who was limited to a wheelchair early in his recovery. "When you have independence and then lose it, that was the hardest part."

In the last few months, things have improved for Smith. He can walk now and even played golf. Smith hopes the fixator comes off his leg in the next four to six weeks, and after that, he needs to re-learn to run and change direction.

After that, he wants to play football again. 

"That's the plan," Smith said of returning to the field. "I got to conquer some more steps before I get there."

The Redskins posted pictures of Smith on the team's practice fields throwing passes, which he said isn't a problem. Moving around in the pocket, something that Smith excelled at before the injury, will be a different story. 

"The steps I'm at right now are lifestyle steps," Smith said. 

Smith said he's focused on being able to play basketball with his kids and chase his young daughter around. Football will come after that. Throughout the interview, Smith showed an impressive sense of positivity and understanding of the big picture despite walking around with metal screws drilled into his leg. 

"It's crazy looking and it sucks what happened but at the same time there's people out there that have it way worse."

As for the Redskins roster, the team is in position to leave Smith on the injured reserve this year and carry his $20 million salary, in addition to paying Haskins along with veterans Colt McCoy and Case Keenum. The salary cap is tight carrying four QB salaries, but the team has little choice.

Next year, McCoy and Keenum will be free agents. If Smith actually returns by next year, it's hard to envision Washington bringing back either of the veterans, but obviously Haskins will be on the team.

Could Smith and Haskins really coexist? Probably not. If Smith works all the way back to full health and is able to play football again, it would be hard to imagine the team letting him compete with a second-year Haskins for the top QB job. 

With the severity of the injury, and the large steps still needed in his comeback, that conversation seems unnecessary. For now, Redskins fans should just wish Smith well in his recovery. 

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Best birthday ever? 107-year-old Redskins fan celebrates in Burgundy and Gold

Best birthday ever? 107-year-old Redskins fan celebrates in Burgundy and Gold

When Carletha "Nana" West was growing up, she began to take an interest in football. In particular, she took notice of a certain Redskins quarterback. 

"When Sammy Baugh was quarterback I liked him and I was just learning football at that time," West said. "I was young myself."

Baugh commanded the Redskins offense from 1937-1952 and became one of West's favorite player. With that, her fandom for the Redskins grew.

Decades later, her love for the Redskins remains. So for her 107th birthday -- yes, 107th -- she, of course, celebrated it with some Burgundy and Gold festivities.

Joined by Redskins GM Bruce Allen, West took in her birthday on Thursday, July 18, at Brandywine in Alexandria, Va. Not only was she given a customized Redskins jersey with the number 107 and the name "Nana", but West also got a day named after her. In Alexandria, July 18 will now be known as Carletha "Nana" West Day.

West spent some time reminiscing about her years as a Redskins fan, singing 'Hail to the Redskins' and even sharing her advice on how to live a long, fulfilling life. Besides loving football, she shared some simple words of wisdom.

"Make friends," West said. "And keep them."

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Former Giants OL Mitch Petrus dies of heat stroke at 32

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Former Giants OL Mitch Petrus dies of heat stroke at 32

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, a walk-on at Arkansas who went on to a three-year NFL career that included a Super Bowl win with the New York Giants, has died. He was 32.

Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs said Petrus died of heat stroke Thursday night at a North Little Rock hospital after working outside that day at his family's shop about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Little Rock.

Like much of the country, Arkansas is in the grips of an intense heat wave. In Lonoke County, where Petrus was working, the heat index on Thursday made it feel like it was than 100 degrees (38 Celsius) outside, according to the National Weather Service.

During his college career, Petrus played alongside Razorback greats Darren McFadden and Felix Jones and later earned all-Southeastern Conference honors.

He was drafted by the Giants in the fifth round in 2010 and got into 11 regular-season games his rookie year, with no starts. In his second season, Petrus played in six regular-season games, starting three of them, as the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl. He played six games for the Giants the following season before being released. He was picked up by the New England and played two games for the Patriots before being released. Tennessee then signed him and he played two games for the Titans before the team released him the following March.

After retiring from the NFL in 2013, Petrus returned to Arkansas, where he was well-known and often appeared as a studio analyst and sidelines reporter during televised high school football games. He also had an interest in politics, serving as Republican state Sen. Dismang's chief of staff during the Legislature's 2018 session, when Dismang was the chamber's president.

"With his energy and how positive he was, he was just a perfect fit for that session," Dismang said Friday.

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