ASHBURN, Va. -- Alex Smith endured 17 surgeries to repair his mangled right leg. So, what's 17 days of frustration and waiting around to heal a calf injury?
That's how long it's been since we've seen Smith play for the Washington Football Team. He's practiced here and there but through Wednesday, as the WFT prepares for the only game that matters, Smith has been very limited.
And at this moment, unable to play in a game.
Will that change this Sunday in Philadelphia with an NFC East title on the line? If last week's step in the right direction tells us anything, the answer is well, maybe.
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“Close,'' Smith said on Wednesday. "I felt really close. Certainly, I got a lot in on Friday (Christmas Day). That was my mindset all week that I was trying to be open and honest with everyone in the decision-making process with the coaches, the doctors, the trainers.
"Everybody kind of had an input. Certainly, myself, being honest with myself on what I could do out there. Really close, though. I guess it’s hard to say other than that. Certainly, right on the doorstep of it.”
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He was close but no cigar, ultimately, and while that was not happening, we all know what did happen with the Dwayne Haskins disaster.
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Smith officially did not participate in Wednesday's on-field tune-up but it certainly sounds like he was going to try to ramp it up on Thursday and Friday.
The question is how much and will the calf respond the right way ... the next day?
"I do feel like, hopefully, I’ll continue to progress. Hopefully, beyond that, it’ll be better than that," Smith said. "At the same time, I’ll use the progression of this week and see how it goes. Certainly, my focus is on Sunday and doing everything I can to get ready for that.”
If Smith can't go, Taylor Heinicke would start and Steven Montez would presumably the backup unless, Washington decides to have Smith active and in uniform to possibly fill an emergency role. WFT has positive things to say about Heinicke ... but the real good news they'd like will come from Alex Smith in the coming hours.