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Joe Theismann reveals Alex Smith 'came very, very close to losing his leg'

Joe Theismann reveals Alex Smith 'came very, very close to losing his leg'

Thirty-three years to the day that former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann suffered a gruesome leg injury, Alex Smith suffered the same fate against the Houston Texans.

Theismann addressed the injury similarities between him and Alex Smith on Ian Rapoport's podcast, "RapSheet and Friends."

"I was there that night," Theismann said. "I looked at it and I turned to [my wife] Robin and I said 'that's exactly like mine.'"

At that moment, Theismann was worried the injury was so severe Smith wouldn't be able to recover.

"He came very, very close to losing his leg and fortunately, you know, he still has it," Theismann said. "Alex for sure will not play this year."

With Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and 2019 first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins in the fold, Theismann noted it'll be hard for Smith to break back into the Redskins quarterback lineup.

"Ask yourself the question, 'Will he be able to compete as a starter?'" Theismann pondered. "Because you can't pay somebody $20 million as a backup. Just can't happen." 

When asked if Smith could return and play at a high level, Theismann alluded to the problems that quarterbacks with leg injuries can have when trying to recover, especially when it comes to mechanics.

"I would say 'let's see how you feel one year from now,'" Theismann noted. "Picture a pitcher not being able to push off the mound. Picture a quarterback not being able to load his weight and go forward.

"And so what happens is when you think of that throwing mechanism, his body, his arm, his legs, his ability to turn and push, if one of those elements is lessened, the other areas have to make up for it."

Smith recently had the external fixator removed from his leg and noted that he's making incremental steps towards playing again.

"It's gonna be a long road," Theismann said of Smith's recovery.

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Consider these three things about the Alex Smith trade one year after the move was made

Consider these three things about the Alex Smith trade one year after the move was made

365 days ago, the Redskins traded for Alex Smith in a move that temporarily turned the NFL's attention away from the upcoming Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl and to the Burgundy and Gold.

Since that unforgettable moment, Smith established himself as a leader through offseason workouts and helped the 2018 'Skins to a 6-3 record before suffering an injury that could very well end his career.

A year later, there's a ton to think about as you look back on that transaction. These things are most worth considering, though.

The Redskins hoped they were landing 2017 Smith, but that's not who took the field

2017 Alex Smith easily set career highs in passing yards and touchdowns. He completed more than 67-percent of his passes and was dynamite in Kansas City's offense.

When the Redskins acquired him, they were hoping that one season would be the start of a late-career renaissance. Instead, he reverted to what he was before that breakout in his nine starts in 2018.

Perhaps the 'Skins' lack of playmakers held him back. After all, it's a lot easier to sling the ball around when Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt are on your side.

Perhaps the fit between Jay Gruden and Smith just wasn't right, and the signal caller was more comfortable under Andy Reid.

Whatever the reason, No. 11 just wasn't as productive in D.C. He really delivered in some ways — his ability to protect the ball was critical, and teammates cited his leadership as being top-notch — but when it came to moving the ball and creating points, he struggled.

Losing Kendall Fuller wasn't the toughest part about the deal

At first, the player whom the Redskins were sending to Kansas City along with a third-round pick wasn't named. It soon came out that Kendall Fuller was that player, and many Washington fans resented that decision.

That wasn't the part where the team was really hurt, however.

It stung to lose Fuller, but the organization had to try and find stability under center, which meant they had to give up a quality player. What's going to really crush them for a few more years is Smith's four-year extension with $71 million guaranteed.

He had one season left on his deal with the Chiefs, and many have speculated and reported that the extension was key in making the trade happen. That's smart negotiating on his part if that's the case.

How smart that was on the Redskins' side of things, meanwhile, is less clear. Again, looking to solidify quarterback was absolutely the right idea, but committing so much to an aging vet who most would politely describe as "solid" might not have been.

After all that, it's still hard to totally bash the move

Those who were skeptical of Smith's ability to suddenly become a prolific passer looked like they were on the way to being right. Those who questioned inking Smith to such a sudden and major extension will likely also be right.

Even with all that, though, it's difficult to fully slam what the Redskins did originally.

Kirk Cousins wasn't returning, so Washington wanted to put what was a 7-9 squad in the hands of a capable option who could push an "almost there" team to a playoff contender. Smith fit that criteria.

Additionally, while it was always unlikely he'd build on what he did in his last go-round with the Chiefs, he was a proven winner and someone who wouldn't lose games for Gruden and Co. When he was healthy, that's exactly what he did.

Yet, now his future is in serious doubt, the franchise has no franchise QB and every roster decision will be touched by Smith's situation. That'll lead plenty to label this as an awful trade, but what it should be labeled as is a well-intentioned transaction with awful consequences.

Sometimes, you take a big swing and make really good contact. But that really good contact doesn't always lead to a hit.

Every once in a while, you'll line into a double play, and it looks like that's what the Redskins did with this trade. 

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Alex Smith spotted at Wizards game wearing big apparatus on injured right leg

Alex Smith spotted at Wizards game wearing big apparatus on injured right leg

Alex Smith was at the Wizards-Pistons game on Monday, having scored some good seats in the owner's suite. The Redskins quarterback was spotted at Capital One Arena wearing a large apparatus on his right leg as he continues his long recovery from his mid-November injury.

In previous updates about his recovery, Smith's legs were covered and he was in a wheelchair. 

In this glimpse of Smith, he appeared to no longer require a wheelchair, or one wasn't seen in the box. Instead, he was sitting in a seat and two crutches were behind him:

The Redskins and Smith's family had previously asked for privacy during his rehab. Major questions remain about whether he'll play in 2019 for the Redskins, or ever again in fact, but at the very least it's good to see him out in public.

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