When Alex Smith went down in Sunday's loss to the Texans, the injury looked bad. From his reaction and the instant reaction of his teammates and coaches, it became obvious the severity of the situation.
As soon as the video replays showed Smith's leg bend in the way it wasn't intended, the whole world knew bones were broken.
Now, though, as details begin to emerge after Smith had successful surgery on the injury, it sounds even worse than it looked.
Alex Smith suffered a compound fracture - meaning the bone broke through his skin, per source. Trauma surgeons discovered Smith suffered a spiral fracture in his leg - defined as a long bone broken by a rotational force. Smith, 34, faces a lengthy rehab process to try to return.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 19, 2018
On Monday, Jay Gruden explained that Smith faces a recovery time of six to eight months. That timeline puts Smith on pace to return for training camp in 2019, but that also assumes no complications from surgery and a full recovery. Smith will be 35 in May.
The Redskins acquired Smith via trade during the 2018 offseason, and immediately agreed to a contract extension with the quarterback. That deal includes $71 million guaranteed for injury.
In his first season as Redskins starter, Smith was completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,180 yards to go with 10 TDs against five INTs in 10 games before the injury. Smith guided the Redskins to a 6-3 record before leaving the Texans game and eventually landing on the injured reserve list.
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Don't look in this space for an argument that the Redskins - who are reportedly signing Mark Sanchez as Colt McCoy's backup - should, or should not, sign Colin Kaepernick.
This space will lay out reasons why the Redskins should, and should not, consider signing Colin Kaepernick.
It's not a binary decision. In fact, it's just about the opposite.
Any debate about Kaepernick often gets bogged down in differing political view points. This is not the place for that. Rather, here is an attempt to make the case for or against Kaepernick from a football perspective.
The case to sign Colin Kaepernick
- The Redskins need a quarterback. Alex Smith broke his leg and Colt McCoy needs a backup. Of the available free agents out there, Kaepernick has by far the best stats and resume. As Chris Thompson explained of Kaepernick, "He made it to a Super Bowl." When he last played in 2016, Kaepernick had 16 TDs against just four INTs in 12 starts.
- Kaepernick has familiarity in the West Coast offense, and once backed up Alex Smith and played with Vernon Davis.
- Redskins QB coach and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell worked on the 49ers staff with Kaepernick.
- Multiple Redskins players, including Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, said that the Nike pitchman deserves another chance in the NFL.
The case not to sign Colin Kaepernick
- Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL for nearly two full seasons. He hasn't practiced in a professional setting for more than a year. The Redskins are competing for the NFC East title. If they have to go to a backup QB, they want somebody that is game ready. It's hard to think Kaepernick fits that bill today.
- Earlier this season, Redskins CB Josh Norman had some choice words for Kaepernick after Panthers safety Eric Reid spoke out against the NFL Player's Coalition. Norman is an active particpant and leader on the Player's Coalition, a social rights group that Kaepernick distanced himself from. Putting Norman and Kaepernick in the same locker room might create some friction for a first-place team.
- At 6-4, the Redskins are in first place in the NFC East and should still be able to win games with McCoy at quarterback. Regardless how one feels about Kaepernick's activism, it will create a side show for any organization that brings him in. Cable news outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will descend on the Washington locker room should Kaepernick get signed.
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