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Post-surgery infection may threaten Redskins QB Alex Smith’s career

Redskins quarterback Alex Smith gets carted off the field after breaking his right leg on Nov. 18.
Redskins quarterback Alex Smith gets carted off the field after breaking his right leg on Nov. 18.John McDonnell/Washington Post

Three weeks after Alex Smith suffered a devastating leg injury during the Redskins’ loss to the Texans, the quarterback is dealing with an infection that has kept him in the hospital and raised concerns about his long-term recovery.

The Redskins issued a statement Thursday describing the injury as ‘‘serious’’ and asking that ‘‘everyone please honor the Smith family’s request for privacy at this time,’’ while providing no specifics on Smith’s situation.

There was a feeling of concern in the team’s locker room Thursday as teammates wished the best for Smith. A large group of players took a team bus to visit Smith in the hospital Tuesday. There were too many of them to fit in Smith’s hospital room, so the quarterback was brought to see his teammates in a larger area.


‘‘We all just assured him, ‘Hey, we’re praying for you, man,’ and wished him the best for him,’’ Adrian Peterson said. ‘‘That’s all we can do. ‘Hey, you’re not in the building, but we’re still thinking about you.’ ’’

Smith is battling an infection following surgery to repair the broken tibia and fibula in his right leg, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke anonymously to discuss a sensitive health issue. That person said the injury could ‘‘possibly’’ be career-threatening for Smith.

A day after Smith suffered his injury, coach Jay Gruden said the quarterback’s surgery went well and he was facing a six- to eight-month recovery timeline. But ESPN later reported that Smith’s bone broke through his skin and he faced a ‘‘lengthy rehab.’’ The Redskins have not confirmed that Smith’s bone broke through his skin and have released few details about the nature of the injury and Smith’s recovery.

KC lands Benjamin

Former Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin won’t be staying unemployed for long. Benjamin is set to sign a one-year deal with the Chiefs, the NFL Network reported. Benjamin was released by the Bills on Tuesday and went unclaimed on waivers Wednesday and visited with the Chiefs. Buffalo traded a third- and seventh-round pick to the Panthers at last season’s trade deadline to acquire Benjamin in hopes he could become a No. 1 target, but Benjamin struggled to adapt, finishing with 39 catches for 571 yards and two touchdowns in 18 games in Buffalo . . . The Giants placed two-time Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Collins, the team’s leading tackler with 96, was hurt Sunday against the Bears and will need surgery to repair a partially torn labrum. The Giants signed defensive back Kenny Ladler off their practice squad to fill the roster spot.


‘Slap in the face’

Ruben Foster’s ex-girlfriend told ABC’s ‘‘Good Morning America’’ that the Redskins’ decision to pick the linebacker up on waivers was like a “slap in the face.” Elissa Ennis said Foster slapped her and pushed her during an incident in Tampa that led to his arrest for domestic violence. She said Foster had abused her three times, most recently last month in Tampa. Foster, who was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence, was cut by the 49ers after the incident, and the Redskins claimed him off waivers two days later. Foster was put on the NFL’s Commissioner Exempt list, which means he cannot play or practice. A Redskins spokesman declined comment . . . Cleveland police launched an internal review of how the NFL received a copy of police reports on the fight involving ex-Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt in a Cleveland hotel last February, according to Cleveland.com. The city had said the NFL did not ask for the report until TMZ published video of the incident in which Hunt shoved people and kicked a woman. However, the city says an unidentified Cleveland police officer gave the report to the NFL, allowing the league to skip the police department’s response to the records being released, according to Cleveland.com. The Chiefs released Hunt after the video surfaced saying that the running back lied when asked about the incident by team officials.