Thompson: Redskins know Alex Smith won't play in '19

Redskins brass has played coy with the status of Alex Smith next season, but one Washington player expects the starting quarterback to sit out the 2019 campaign and perhaps even longer.

"When I did talk to [Smith], he's staying about positive about it. We know and understand that it's probably not going to happen that we have him this year," Redskins running back Chris Thompson told NBC Sports Washington on Tuesday. "He's a hard working guy, He's gonna do whatever he can to get back, if he decides that he wants to put that workload on his leg again."

Smith suffered a season-ending compound leg fracture in Week 11 and underwent multiple surgeries soon after. He was released from the hospital in mid-December following a leg infection and was seen at a Washington Wizards game in January wearing a large apparatus on his injured leg.

Redskins president Bruce Allen told reporters at the Senior Bowl that they were "optimistic" Smith would play again, but did not clarify what his status for 2019 was. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported in late January that Washington is planning as if it won't have Smith in 2019.

The only other quarterback currently on the Redskins' roster is Colt McCoy, who also suffered a season-ending leg injury in 2018. Thompson is confident that the Redskins can compete if the front office chooses to operate as if McCoy is the starting quarterback next season.

"I know Colt is ready to go," Thompson said of McCoy's readiness to play in 2019. "He's all healthy now and ready to go if he is to be the guy next year."

That remains to be seen. Washington has roughly $17.7 million in cap space, per Over The Cap, and is expected to add a quarterback through free agency, the draft or both this offseason.

As for Smith, Washington's big offseason signing in 2018 is entering the first season of a four-year extension signed with the 'Skins after they acquired him from the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith carries a cap number of $20.4 million in 2019, the highest on the team.