The additional surgeries Alex Smith underwent recently have pushed his best-case timetable back. The Redskins quarterback is not expected to be ready by the time the 2019 regular season begins, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link).
While Smith’s playing future is up in the air, his previous rehab timeline was believed to have him ready for the preseason. Although the 34-year-old passer was released from the hospital last week, he has a long road ahead for a potential return to action.
Washington has not yet decided if it wants to draft another quarterback or take the free agent route, per Rapoport.
Smith’s recent extension ties him to Washington through 2023. Colt McCoy has one more season remaining on his contract, but the Redskins may well need to have another starter-level option in the fold. They went the trade route with Smith, and Rapoport throws Joe Flacco into the mix as a possible option in a regional trade. Adding Flacco’s contract on top of Smith’s would be considerably onerous for Washington, however.
Infection-related complications increased Smith’s surgery total to around six, so it’s impossible to determine at this juncture if the former 49ers and Chiefs starter is going to return at all. But the Redskins will have to plan to be without Smith for at least part of the 2019 season, even in the best-case scenario, at this point.