While Alex Smith has said he believes his return to football threw a wrench in the plans of the Washington Football Team, one of his fellow quarterbacks hopes the team’s future continues to have Smith as a part of it.
In an interview with the NFL Network, Taylor Heinicke said he hopes that Smith is able to remain with the team for next season and spoke glowingly about what he brought to the group.
“He means a lot to the team,” Heinicke said, via Grant Gordon of NFL.com. “He brings a lot to the table. Hopefully we can bring him back. I know a lot of the guys love him and he’s good for the locker room and he can still play. But football’s a crazy business. So who knows what’s going to happen.”
It was a calf injury to Smith that allowed for Heinicke to start in the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Heinicke came out swinging in an attempt to toe-to-toe with Tom Brady and the Bucs. He threw for 306 yards with a touchdown and an interception and also ran for a touchdown in the 31-23 loss to Tampa Bay.
Heinicke said Smith supported him in the lead up to the game.
“It wasn’t awkward at all,” Heinicke said. “Alex is a great dude. He knows it was his team. If he was ready to go, he would’ve gone. It just felt like he wasn’t ready to go during that week. He wasn’t getting a lot of practice reps. I was getting the majority of them.”
Smith appeared in eight games for Washington last year with six starts after a nearly two-year absence recovering from a shattered leg and ensuing infections that resulted in nearly losing his limb. He threw for 1,582 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions for Washington.
Smith has two years remaining on his contract with the team.