Washington is in the thick of the NFC East race - a race that'll likely be determined by Alex Smith's health.
Smith missed Washington's game last week against the Seahawks due to a calf injury. Ron Rivera's club fell to Seattle 20-15, dropping the WFT to 6-8 and just one game ahead of the New York Giants.
Dwayne Haskins was mediocre in his relief appearance, making it clear Washington needs Smith to return as soon as possible. The Washington quarterback is doing everything he can to be out on the field when his team faces the Carolina Panthers this weekend.
Smith and Rivera are both confident he'll be able to play on Sunday. But it has yet to be confirmed. Washington will continue to evaluate Smith as the week rolls along into the weekend.
By the sound of it, Washington is optimistic Alex Smith can play this Sunday. Washington's NFC East hopes may depend on him.
Dwayne Haskins just isn't an NFL quarterback at this point. Perhaps that'll change later on in his career, but not right now.
Ron Rivera would love nothing more than to upset his former team in the Panthers on Sunday. Carolina and Rivera came to an awkward end last year. Now, Rivera is on the verge of leading the Washington Football Team to an NFC East title, but the Panthers stand in the way.
Smith's availability will likely dictate Washington's success this coming weekend.