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Alex Smith wants to play again, for the challenge of returning to football if nothing else

Alex Smith wants to play again, for the challenge of returning to football if nothing else

Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has had one clear goal in mind ever since suffering a gruesome leg injury last November against the Houston Texans: to play football again.

Several months later, that goal remains the same for Smith, even though his injury will prevent him from playing at all in 2019. But he's been as active as possible during training camp, appearing at almost every practice and working with the quarterbacks as much as possible.

“It’s definitely a different role for me, a different capacity," Smith told the Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael during a sit-down interview on Monday. "I’m loving being down here; I’m glad I came down. This whole experience for me has kind of been flexible with my rehab and coming back. I made the decision to come down here and I’m really happy with it. It’s nice to be around the guys. Selfishly for me, it’s helped me pass some time. I’ve been getting good work in, but at the same time, obviously a different role, almost like a coach a little bit, especially with the quarterbacks.”

The first several months of his recovery have not been easy on Smith. He just recently had an external fixator -- a metal contraption that held multiple bones in his leg in place -- removed, and is unable to move around without crutches. His leg is still wrapped in a cast from his foot to just below his knee. While he's made tremendous progress, Smith still has a long way to go before putting on a helmet and pads even becomes a thought.

Despite all this, Smith insists that he's doing well.

"I’m doing well. I am," Smith said. "I’m as optimistic as I’ve ever been. I’ve continued to progress. I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated what this road would be like, I don’t think I knew what it would be like. It’s longer than I thought. But like I said, I’m still progressing and really optimistic about what is ahead of me.”

Considering the long and difficult road the quarterback has endured during his recovery, hearing Smith speak those words has to be a positive sign in his recovery. 

But Smith must remember that this recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. And staying patient has been one of the things that the quarterback has had to learn the hard way.

"Learning a little bit of patience," Smith said on the hardest part of his recovery. "You learn that with injuries and things like that, especially something like this. Being a little more patient, being flexible."

Part of being patient meant not becoming obsessed with the timeline of his recovery, especially with an injury like his, where that timeline can be completely off and change at any moment. 

"I got my head set on certain timelines, and then you realize those aren’t really set in stone and very flexible and moving," he said. "So getting accustomed to that and just trying to get the most out of every day, stay short-sighted and not get ahead of myself.”

When asked about what has helped him fight through everything he's had to endure since suffering the injury, he emphasized his support system, specifically his wife. 

"First off, I knew I had an amazing wife, but this has really proven it for me," he said. "She has shouldered the load, not only what I’ve had to go through, but the family. I’m obviously very grateful for her and our entire support system."

Besides his wife, the Redskins organization as a whole has continued to help their quarterback during his recovery process.

"[The team has] been there for me," Smith said. "This has been such a unique situation, and the way they’ve handled it, everybody has been there for me and allowed me to go about my business. It’s been really great. It’s nice to finally be back in the team environment, around the guys. I’ve missed that for quite a while now.”

Smith has been at the Redskins' facilities plenty in recent weeks. He's been working with the training staff and has gotten back in the weight room.

He was seen bench pressing recently, and he's even thrown the football around a little bit while seated.

"Thankfully I’m not limited to some of the upper body workouts," Smith said. "So [Redskins strength and conditioning coach] Chad [Englehart] and the crew in there, we get after it every single day. Those guys have been very creative as far as mixing it up for me, and I enjoy that."

When suffering a gruesome injury like Smith's, it puts a lot into perspective. Football itself wasn't the only thing taken away from the quarterback; Smith could not walk, workout, or even perform many day-to-day activities that most people take for granted.

"When you get that stuff taken away from you for a little while, you forget what it’s like, and how much I enjoy just actually breaking a sweat and getting some work in," Smith said. "So that’s been a nice release for me.”

The end of Smith's recovery may still be a long ways away, but he's beginning to at least see some of the light at the end.

Whether he plays football again is still in question, but one thing is for certain: Smith won't go down without a fight. 

"I think just even being out here, getting that itch," Smith said on what continues to drive him. "The older you get, you realize how precious these situations are; that it’s not going to last forever, and trying to make the most of it. You only have so many years left, and to have this challenge set out in front of me. I mean, how often do you get a challenge like that to overcome? And for me to take it on and not worry about anything else.”

When asked if his goal was still to come back, Smith was very confident and direct with his answer.

"Without a doubt," he said. "Just for the challenge sake, and for life. I still feel like I’m young at heart and got a lot left ahead of me. I want to take that on.”

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Fantasy Football TE Rankings 2019: Week 14

Fantasy Football TE Rankings 2019: Week 14


Week 13 is in the books and rosters are beginning to take shape. Here are the top tight ends for Week 14.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 14
Running Back Rankings: Week 14
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 14
Tight End Rankings: Week 14

TIER 1: Best of the best

1. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Opponent: at Saints
2019 Stats: 54 Receptions, 687 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 142.2 PTS, 2019 TE6
Previous Ranking: 1

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Opponent: at Patriots 
2019 Stats: 68 Receptions, 923 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 184.3 PTS, 2019 TE1
Previous Ranking: 2

TIER 2: High-end TE1's

3. Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders
Opponent: vs. Titans
2019 Stats: 66 Receptions, 807 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 165.2 PTS, 2019 TE2
Previous Ranking: 3

4. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Opponent: vs. Giants
2019 Stats: 70 Receptions, 736 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 161.6 PTS, 2019 TE4
Previous Ranking: 4

5. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens  
Opponent: at Bills
2019 Stats: 53 Receptions, 693 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 162.3 PTS, 2019 TE3
Previous Ranking: 2

6. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Opponent: at Falcons
2019 Stats: 48 Receptions, 552 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 115.2 PTS, 2019 TE7
Previous Ranking: 6

7. Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks
Opponent: at Rams
2019 Stats: 25 Receptions, 203 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 63.3 PTS, 2019 TE30
Previous Ranking: 7

8. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
Opponent: at Jaguars
2019 Stats: 41 Receptions, 497 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 110.7 PTS, 2019 TE8
Previous Ranking: 5

TIER 3: Low-end TE1's 

9. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
Opponent: vs. 49ers
2019 Stats: 32 Receptions, 459 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 101.9 PTS, 2019 TE11
Previous Ranking: 10

10. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
Opponent: vs. Falcons
2019 Stats: 56 Receptions, 608 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 154.8 PTS, 2019 TE5
Previous Ranking: NR

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 14
Running Back Rankings: Week 14
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 14
Tight End Rankings: Week 14

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Fantasy Football RB Rankings 2019: Week 14

Fantasy Football RB Rankings 2019: Week 14

Week 13 is in the books and rosters are beginning to take shape. Here are the top running backs for Week 14.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 14
Running Back Rankings: Week 14
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 14
Tight End Rankings: Week 14

TIER 1: RB1's

1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers   
Opponent: at Falcons 
2019 Stats: 1167 Rushing YDS, 12 Rushing TD, 75 Receptions, 644 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 354.1 PTS, 2019 RB1
Previous Ranking: 1 

2. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Opponent: vs. Redskins
2019 Stats: 645 Rushing YDS, 11 Rushing TD, 39 Receptions, 367  Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 215.1 PTS, 2019 RB6
Previous Ranking: 4

3. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Opponent: vs. Lions
2019 Stats: 1046 Rushing YDS, 12 Rushing TD, 48 Receptions, 490 Receiving YDS, 269.6 PTS, 2019 RB2
Previous Ranking: 3

4. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Opponent: vs. 49ers
2019 Stats: 587 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 64 Receptions, 444 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 179.6 PTS, 2019 RB11
Previous Ranking: 2

5. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
Opponent: vs. Chargers
2019 Stats: 989 Rushing YDS, 3 Rushing TD, 65 Receptions, 444 Receiving YDS, 224.3 PTS, 2019 RB4
Previous Ranking: 6

6. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans   
Opponent: at Raiders
2019 Stats: 1140 Rushing YDS, 11 Rushing TD, 17 Receptions, 200 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 223  PTS, 2019 RB5
Previous Ranking: 9

7. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants   
Opponent: at Eagles
2019 Stats: 544 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 38 Receptions, 291 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 139.5 PTS, 2019 RB17
Previous Ranking: 10

TIER 2: High-end RB2's

8.  Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens
Opponent: at Bills
2019 Stats: 837 Rushing YDS, 9 Rushing TD, 20 Receptions, 172 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 190.9 PTS, 2019 RB9
Previous Ranking: 11

9. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders 
Opponent: vs. Titans
2019 Stats: 1061 Rushing YDS, 7 Rushing TD, 18 Receptions, 146 Receiving YDS, 178.7 PTS, 2019 RB12
Previous Ranking: 7

10. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Opponent: vs. Bengals 
2019 Stats: 1175 Rushing YDS, 7 Rushing TD, 31 Receptions, 245 Receiving YDS, 209 PTS, 2019 RB8
Previous Ranking: 12

11. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
Opponent: at Rams
2019 Stats: 981 Rushing YDS, 5 Rushing TD, 32 Receptions, 227 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 186.8 PTS, 2019 RB10
Previous Ranking: 15

12. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
Opponent: at Browns
2019 Stats: 643 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 26 Receptions, 190 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 139.3 PTS, 2019 RB18
Previous Ranking: 16

13. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Opponent: vs. Seahawks
2019 Stats: 642 Rushing YDS, 8 Rushing TD, 22 Receptions, 134 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 149.6 PTS, 2019 RB16
Previous Ranking: 13

TIER 3: On the verge RB2's

14. James White, New England Patriots
Opponent: vs. Chiefs 
2019 Stats: 208 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 57 Receptions, 512 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 155 PTS, 2019 RB15
Previous Ranking: 

15. Phillip Lindsey, Denver Broncos
Opponent: at Texans
2019 Stats: 766 Rushing YDS, 5 Rushing TD, 31 Receptions, 183 Receiving YDS, 155.9 PTS, 2019 RB14 
Previous Ranking: 20
 
16. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
Opponent: at Jaguars 
2019 Stats: 380 Rushing YDS, 3 Rushing TD, 69 Receptions, 718 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 234.8 PTS, 2019 RB4
Previous Ranking: 24

17. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
Opponent: vs. Bengals
2019 Stats: 125 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 20 Receptions, 118 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 56.3 PTS, 2019 RB58
Previous Ranking: 18

18. Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
Opponent: at Buccaneers
2019 Stats: 862 Rushing YDS, 4 Rushing TD, 12 Receptions, 76 Receiving YDS, 131.8 PTS, 2019 RB22
Previous Ranking: NR

19. Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins
Opponent: at Packers
2019 Stats: 203 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 7 Receptions, 79 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 53.2 PTS, 2019 RB61
Previous Ranking: NR

20. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
Opponent: at Jaguars
2019 Stats: 468 Rushing YDS, 4 Rushing TD, 20 Receptions, 123 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 107.1 PTS, 2019 RB
Previous Ranking: 20

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 14
Running Back Rankings: Week 14
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 14
Tight End Rankings: Week 14