Alex Smith has not played one down of football for the Washington Redskins in 2019. Yet he still feels partially responsible for the team’s 3-13 record and Monday’s firing of president Bruce Allen, he told Tom Schad at USA Today Sports.
It’s been more than 13 months since Smith, 35, broke his fibula and tibia and had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. He needed 17 surgeries and battled an infection in his leg while the Redskins went from 6-3 under his guidance with dreams of the playoffs to 7-9 and third place in the NFC East.
In his first remarks to reporters this season, Smith said he still is working toward returning in 2020 and feels he is at least partially to blame for the results of the 2019 season. Redskins owner Dan Snyder announced Monday the firing of president Bruce Allen and are looking for a new head coach after firing Jay Gruden earlier this year.
"Injuries are obviously a part of the game, but certainly some of the things that have gone on with me have been unforeseen, and you do feel a little bit like you've hamstrung the team, with what's gone on and how long this has gone on," Smith said. "So there's some responsibility you do feel there, as a player, that I feel there."
Allen started with the Redskins in 2009 and became the team’s primary decision-maker in 2014. From that point on they had only two winning season and made the playoffs once. The team has won one playoff game since 1999.
None of that falls on Smith, who joined Washington via a trade from the Kansas City Chiefs in early 2018. He signed a four-year, $94 million extension with the Redskins and is one of the highest-paid players on the team. It included $71 million in guaranteed money. In that aspect, he’s eating up cap room that could be used to improve the squad while he’s rehabbing.
But Washington’s woes went far beyond the loss of a quarterback to a freak injury during the previous season’s campaign.
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