- The Washington Times - Monday, December 30, 2019

ASHBURN, Va. — For months, Alex Smith was seen with Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, leaving others to wonder if the quarterback was in line for a front-office position.

But Monday, with the season over, Smith finally broke his silence, shooting down interest in anything other than returning from the horrific leg injury he suffered 13 months ago.

Smith said “without a doubt” he wants to play next season.

“I love all the rumor mill and all the stuff that circulates out there,” Smith said. “My focus is just to get out there and play again. I’m very appreciative of Dan and Bruce [Allen] for everything they’ve done for me throughout this process. …. I have no aspirations other than getting back on the football field again.”

Monday marked the first time Smith had spoken with local reporters since breaking his tibia and fibula in November 2018 against the Houston Texans. The 35-year-old’s recovery has been a lengthy process, with the quarterback requiring 17 surgeries.

Over the past few months, Smith has begun throwing but does not have a timetable on when he could actually return to the field.

Part of the problem, Smith said, is there isn’t a “blueprint” of an athlete coming back from the same type of injury.

“This hasn’t really be traveled before, and I embrace that challenge,” he said.

So much has changed for the Redskins while Smith has been sidelined. Once 6-3 before his injury, the Redskins went 3-13 this year and fired Allen on Monday. The Redskins, too, have Dwayne Haskins, Washington’s first-rounder who played well down the final stretch of the year. Smith has served as a mentor to Haskins along the way.

Asked about the 22-year-old, Smith said he isn’t worried about potentially coming back with Haskins set as the future of the franchise.

“For me, that’s the last of my concerns,” he said. “His path and trajectory and mine are not conflicting each other, at all. So any kind of narrative of that is just not real. Like I said, my focus is singularly on getting back to where I was and even better, and that doesn’t mean I can’t also be a good teammate. Those things aren’t exclusive from one another.”

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