- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 3, 2021

Washington is expected to start quarterback Alex Smith for Sunday’s finale at Philadelphia after the 36-year-old was previously listed as questionable with a calf injury.

Coach Ron Rivera told ESPN that Smith received medical clearance from the team’s doctors to play.

Smith’s return is crucial for Washington as it needs to beat the Eagles in order to win the NFC East and make the playoffs. Smith had missed the last two games with the injury and the team went 0-2 in his absence.

In more good news for Washington, the team reportedly expects wide receiver Terry McLaurin (ankle) and running back Antonio Gibson (toe) to play. Neither practiced last week, but both are two of Washington’s top playmakers.

If Smith were unable to play, the team is prepared to start Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke, who signed with Washington just last month, replaced Dwayne Haskins in the fourth quarter in last week’s game to the Carolina Panthers and threw for 137 yards. The team released Haskins, its 2019 first rounder, a day after.

Smith, though, made progress throughout the week. He was a limited participant in back-to-back days of practice on Thursday and Friday.

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