Rivera says Alex Smith would factor into QB equation if cleared

Alex Smith didn't pass his physical Monday as the Washington Football Team placed the quarterback on the active/physically unable to perform list.

New coach Ron Rivera, however, isn't dismissing Smith's ability to return to the fray this season.

Rivera told reporters Tuesday that the team wants more time to evaluate Smith's progress after he missed the entire 2019 campaign following a gruesome leg injury. If Smith proves he's healthy, Rivera said he'd join the QB battle.

"If that happens, I think this is a guy that becomes part of our equation. That's the truth of the matter," Rivera said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post.

Placing Smith on the PUP list gives Washington time to evaluate the QB. If he hadn't been on the list to start training camp, he couldn't subsequently be placed on it before the season without having the year wiped out. He can come off the list at any point.

Questions abound regarding Smith's physical ability to ever return to the form he was at before the leg injury.

The assumption heading into the 2020 campaign has been Dwayne Haskins would take the starting reins entering his second season with Kyle Allen as the backup. If Smith proves healthy, however, it would throw another kink into the equation.

With or without Smith, Rivera insists there will be a QB battle through training camp.

"It's going to be pure competition," he said, via Jhabvala. "I like the fact that we have a good group of guys that will push each other. The biggest thing is how each guy develops over time. ... We're going to create as many game-like situations in practice. ..."

With an elongated ramp-up to practices to open training camp, we won't see that competition play out for a few more weeks.

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