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#pounditThursday, November 26, 2020

Ron Rivera says Alex Smith will compete for starting job if cleared

Alex Smith is still making his way back from the devastating leg injury he suffered nearly two years ago, and he could return to the practice field with his teammates soon. If he does, Washington head coach Ron Rivera says Smith will be competing for a starting job.

Smith was placed on the active/PUP list to starting training camp despite being fully cleared last month to resume all football activities. Players can be removed from the active/PUP list at any time during training camp and the preseason. If that happens with Smith, Rivera says the 36-year-old will be “in the throes of this competition.”

Former Ohio State star and last year’s No. 15 overall pick Dwayne Haskins is still the favorite to earn the starting job. Kyle Allen, who played for Rivera with the Carolina Panthers, will also be in the mix.

Washington is going to take it slow with Smith, and it’s possible he could begin the season on the PUP list. That would rule him out for at least the first six weeks of the season, at which point Rivera could evaluate the quarterback situation and see if Haskins or Allen has done enough to seize the starting job.

Smith suffered a tibia and fibula fracture during Washington’s loss to Houston on Nov. 18, 2018. Not only was he carted off the field after having his leg broken, but he suffered a spiral fracture that caused more complications. On top of all that, Smith had a serious infection that threatened his career. The fact that Rivera is talking about him potentially competing for a starting job is remarkable given all that happened.

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