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Chris Thompson on Alex Smith: 'It's probably not going to happen that we have him this year'

Chris Thompson on Alex Smith: 'It's probably not going to happen that we have him this year'

FEDEX FIELD — Chris Thompson said what many Redskins fans had long assumed about Alex Smith's immediate future playing quarterback in Washington.

"We know and understand that it's probably not going to happen that we have him this year," Thompson said in an interview with JP Finlay on Tuesday. 

Smith suffered a compound fracture in his right leg last November in a Week 10 matchup against the Houston Texans. Following the injury, he also dealt with infections in the leg as he recovered from surgery.

NFL Network reported in late January that the Redskins were preparing for the 2019 season assuming Smith would not play, and Thompson's comments support that assertion. 

"He’s a hard working guy," Thompson said of Smith. "He’s going to do whatever he can to get back if he decides he wants to put that workload on his leg."

The severity of the injury not only brings questions about his immediate playing future in 2019, but if Smith will play in 2020 or beyond. It's too early to know those answers.

The Redskins also have Colt McCoy under contract for 2019, and while McCoy also suffered a broken leg in 2018, Thompson expects him back.

"I know Colt is ready to go," Thompson said. "He’s all healthy now."

Thompson's comments came during a Redskins Charitable Foundation event at FedEx Field celebrating a sizable grant from the Embassy of the State of Qatar that combined local elementary school students and Redskins players to highlight the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Thompson joked that he ran a 40-yard-dash with the kids, but his time only came in at 5.3 seconds. The Redskins third-down specialist also explained he really enjoyed getting to meet Ambassador of the State of Qatar Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani and learning more about their culture. 

Other Redskins players like Vernon Davis and Josh Norman joined Thompson along with a host of Redskins alumni. Bruce Allen also attended the event and went through drills with the students. 

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The issues the Redskins have had since Kirk Cousins left aren't lost on Chris Thompson

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The issues the Redskins have had since Kirk Cousins left aren't lost on Chris Thompson

Kirk Cousins started 48 consecutive games for the Redskins from 2015 to 2017. He then left the team following the 2017 season to sign with the Vikings.

Since his departure, Washington has used five different starters in only 23 contests. 

The franchise was once stable under center. Cousins wasn't ever one of the NFL's best, sure — sorry, but this story won't debate what his true value was or whether or not the Redskins should've kept him; hundreds of others were published during his tenure in D.C. that did just that — yet he was a durable and productive passer for the Burgundy and Gold.

What's not for debate is that the organization has struggled to find a replacement for Cousins who matches both of those qualities, and that fact is something Chris Thompson is aware of.

"It's a funny situation, I guess," Thompson said on Monday, except he wasn't really laughing. "There was a lot of stuff going on when he was here, being franchise-tagged twice when we all know he wanted to get a long-term deal done but we weren't able to. Since then, how many quarterbacks has it been?"

Well, Chris, to answer that sad question, there's been the aforementioned five starters plus an appearance from Dwayne Haskins. Those six guys include two acquired via trade (Alex Smith and Case Keenum), two signed in times of desperation (Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson), one draft pick (Haskins) and one holdover (Colt McCoy). 

No team is going to be successful with that much turnover at QB. At any level, in any league, on any planet. Thompson wishes it never started in the first place.

"I made it known back then when Kirk was here — we both talked about playing together for years," he said. "But things happen."

Obviously, the hope is that Haskins is the one who can bring a much-needed end to this shuffle. Until then, however, the Redskins will remain in limbo.

Thursday night's matchup in Minnesota, of course, will be the first time Cousins faces Washington. In Thompson's mind, it's a shame that Cousins is facing the Burgundy and Gold in the first place instead of still wearing those colors. Judging by what's gone down since, it's hard to disagree with him.

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Bill Callahan reveals plans to start Case Keenum at least until Redskins Week 10 bye

Bill Callahan reveals plans to start Case Keenum at least until Redskins Week 10 bye

The Redskins drafted Dwayne Haskins 15th overall but still seem reluctant to start the rookie quarterback. Case Keenum has started all but one game for the 1-6 Redskins this season, and interim head coach Bill Callahan seems intent on keeping it that way. 

"Case is still our quarterback, and that’s where we’re at currently, and I don’t see anything changing in the future," Callahan said Monday in an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast.

With a game coming Thursday night, it seems far fetched for the Redskins to go to Haskins on a condensed time frame this week. But after Thursday's game against the Vikings, Washington will have a 10-day break before a game in Buffalo. Could that be the spot to finally give Haskins the start? Not for Callahan.

"We believe in Case, what he’s done, and what he’s capable of doing," Callahan said.

So the Redskins will go to the bye week without making Haskins the starter? 

"That’s the direction we’re heading in right now."

Keenum has hardly impressed this season. He has completed 66 percent of his passes and thrown nine touchdowns against just four interceptions, but five of those TDs came in the first two weeks. In Weeks 3 and 4 Keenum turned the ball over six times in six quarters before being benched for Haskins. The rookie did not impress in the second half against the Giants either, throwing three picks, before Colt McCoy was named the starter for Week 5 against New England.

After a loss to the Patriots, the Redskins fired head coach Jay Gruden. Once Gruden was gone, the team went back to Keenum, and it sounds like that will be the plan for the foreseeable future. 

At 1-6 and with virtually all playoff hopes eliminated it would not be a surprise if Haskins gets the call after the bye week when the Jets come to FedEx Field. For now, however, that seems like anything but certain. 

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