Continuing on a miraculous comeback from a gruesome right leg injury in 2018, Alex Smith was cleared for full football activity by his personal doctors Friday.
Getting cleared by personal doctors isn't the same as getting cleared by NFL team doctors, however. In order to be permitted to play, Smith must be cleared by the Washington football team's medical staff.
According to NFL Network's Tom Peliserro, that physical will occur on Monday and the 36-year-old quarterback is expected to begin the season on the active/PUP list. If Smith is ultimately placed on the PUP list and remains there through the preseason, Washington can place him on the regular-season PUP list. In that case, Smith wouldn't be eligible to practice or play for the first six weeks of the 2020 season.
This decision would grant both Smith and Washington more time to progress through various milestones necessary to play in an NFL game and further assess their quarterback situation.
Dwayne Haskins figures to be the starter Week 1, with Kyle Allen backing him as someone familiar with offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system. Before his leg injury, Smith was a bonafide starting quarterback in the NFL. Right now, it's impossible to know how the injury and nearly two years away from the game changed him on the field.
If Haskins and Allen don't work out or injuries halt their seasons, maybe there's an opportunity for Smith to play again. It's just difficult to figure that out before the season starts, so placing him on the PUP list should be a beneficial move for everyone involved.
And at the least, Smith should prove to be a valuable asset in practice and on the sidelines for Washington's pair of young quarterbacks.
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