Alex Smith Out At Practice, But Washington Confident He’ll Play In Season’s Biggest Game

As far as the Washington Football Team is concerned, Sunday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles is the Super Bowl. Win, and Washington is in the playoffs. Lose, and it’s season over, bud.

As of right now, Washington (6-9) still isn’t certain who will start at quarterback. The hope is that it’s normal starter Alex Smith — but he didn’t practice Wednesday, as he continues to recover from ankle and hamstring issues.

Still, coach Ron Rivera told reporters he thinks Smith will be the main man come Sunday.

“Specific guys, like him, are the kind of guys that they can watch, they can absorb, and they can get it. And they can go out and play well,” Rivera said. “So I’m not worried about that.”

However, backup QB Taylor Heinecke has taken snaps with the first-teamers during practice. If Smith can’t go, it’ll be up to Heinecke — who actually did a decent job in his first appearance of the season last week, though Washington lost to the Carolina Panthers. Heinecke completed 12-of-19 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.

Even Smith took notice.

“To have limited reps since (Heinecke) has been there and to go out and play the way he did, I thought was really impressive,” Smith said. “Certainly, you could see a lot of that play-making ability out there. I was happy for him. He’s been a great addition to the room.”

But again, it was hardly a dominant or even a winning performance. Smith, on the other hand, is having one whale of a comeback year when healthy. So for Washington, Smith is undoubtedly the preference.

If Washington should lose to the Eagles, the winner of the Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants game will be crowned NFC East champs, at 6-10 no less, and emerge as the division’s playoff representative.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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