After a brave battle with cancer, on the morning of September 6, 2019, William C. Westerman died at the age of 70 at the Hospice of Cincinnati.Bill was born on December 15, 1948 in Sunman, IN to William and Loretta Westerman. He proudly served his country with the Air Force stationed in Japan. He later spent time living in Antigua working for RCA. Bill received his undergraduate degree from the University of Indiana in Bloomington and later received his law degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Before returning to Indiana, he spent several years in Cross Creek, Florida, enjoying two of his favorite activities, fishing and boating.Bill had a love for traveling and nature and traveled the world. He had a passion for cooking. He had a big heart and was drawn to help others. Bill spent much time with his beloved dog, Chopper and was very active in the dog community. Bill enjoyed life, family members and many friends. And there was nothing Bill liked better than an interesting conversation and debate with a good friend or family member. He will be remembered for his contagious laugh and he always had a smile on his face and a joke on his lips.Bill is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his sisters Doris and Mary, brothers Dennis and Melvin, nieces Crystal and Heather, nephews Burke, Justin, Ryan and Shane, dog Chopper and many cousins.A visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a memorial service immediately following at 7:00p.m. all at Meyers Funeral Home, Batesville. Followed by Military Honors by Prell-Bland American Legion Post #271 and the Ripley County V.F.W. Post #3183. Burial will be 11:00am on Wednesday, September 11th at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Folds of Honor, and may turned into or mailed to the funeral home. Online condolences to the family at www.meyersfuneralhomes.com.
West Ham’s greatest threat came from set-pieces and Aaron Cresswell thought he had scored with a whipped free-kick from 25 yards but Rob Green did brilliantly to tip the ball onto the bar. Zamora went close again shortly before the hour when he outmuscled Burke to go clear but with only the keeper to beat, the striker blazed over. Rangers looked the more likely to grab a winner in the latter stages and with 15 minutes to go they thought they had it, as a desperate scramble saw Dunne head home but the goal was disallowed for a foul by Steven Caulker. The home side pushed forward in search of a winner in the final 10 minutes but the best chance fell to West Ham on the break as Enner Valencia teed up Cheikhou Kouyate but he shot over from eight yards out. Phillips almost made himself a hero in injury-time but Adrian palmed the midfielder’s shot over to leave Rangers needing snookers in the race to avoid the drop. Both teams had chances to take all three points at Loftus Road but the best fell to Austin when James Collins handled in the area but the striker’s spot-kick was saved by Adrian’s legs. Richard Dunne also had a header ruled out in the second period as Rangers remained 19th in the table and slipped four points adrift of safety. Press Association Rangers have now won only once in the nine games since Chris Ramsey was appointed until the end of the campaign in February and this was a missed opportunity, particularly given their next two fixtures are away to Liverpool and Manchester City. It was also a chance to capitalise on the dismal form of their opponents. West Ham have only won twice in the league in 2015 and if Sam Allardyce is to leave the club in the summer, this performance will have done little to persuade the Upton Park ownership to change their minds. QPR could have been ahead within a minute after Matt Phillips slid Sandro into the penalty area but the midfielder’s drilled shot was saved by Adrian at the near post. Moments later, Reece Burke, an 18-year-old graduate of the Hammers youth academy, almost enjoyed a dream start on his Premier League debut but his header was cleared off the line by Nedum Onuoha. Both sides struggled to establish any rhythm in a disappointing first half but Rangers had the best chance to break the deadlock in the 22nd minute when referee Mike Jones pointed to the spot. Collins was the offender, raising his hand to block Bobby Zamora’s heavy touch, but Austin failed to convert as he fired hard and down the middle but only into the legs of Adrian. The second half began just as the first had, with a Rangers chance, but Zamora could only side-foot his close-range range volley into the hands of Adrian. Charlie Austin missed a first-half penalty as QPR’s survival hopes were left hanging by a thread after they were held to a goalless draw by West Ham.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Courtland Sutton injures right shoulder during practice September 10, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Top Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton injured his right shoulder at practice Thursday.Sutton landed awkwardly after catching a high pass and was being looked at by trainers as the open media period ended. There was no immediate word about the nature or severity of Sutton’s injury, which occurred 48 hours after the Broncos lost their best player, linebacker Von Miller, to a serious ankle tendon injury at an indoor practice Tuesday. Sutton’s injury came with the Broncos practicing outside, and it occurred about an hour after the third-year receiver spoke on a Zoom media call about the need for every player to step up with Miller likely out for the season.Last season, Sutton caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns while working with three different quarterbacks. He had 42 receptions for 704 yards and four TDs his rookie season.___Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton___ Associated Press
Twenty minutes after his first practice, Jake Olson walked down Trousdale Parkway with his guide dog, Quebec, wearing his school clothes and a large grin across his face.“Dreams do come true. That’s an understatement,” Olson said.Jake Olson, the blind long snapper from Orange Lutheran High, participated in his first practice as a member of the USC football team, fulfilling a dream of his since the age of 12. Wearing a No. 17 yellow no-contact jersey, Olson worked on snaps and hung out with his fellow specialists while USC began preparations for Saturday’s game against Stanford.“Our guys have enjoyed having Jake around because I think it puts things in perspective for them,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said after Tuesday’s practice. “Obviously, somebody has to lead him, whether it is up the tunnel, or to the practice or locker room. And everyone is just kind of taking their turns. Which, I think speaks volumes to the character of the kids that we have on our roster.”Tuesday was a special day for the USC football team, but not just because it had dominated in its first two wins of the season and rose to number six in the AP Poll. While the majority of the team practiced on one side of the field, all the attention from the sideline was focused on a small group of special team members that included Olson, who received a scholarship to attend USC from Swim With Mike’s Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. Because the scholarship is regarded as athletic aid, USC sought and received a waiver from the NCAA so that he did not count against the Trojans’ NCAA-mandated 85 scholarship roster limit.“He is actually really good,” said sophomore punter Reid Budrovich. “If you line his hips up straight. He is perfect with the snaps. Today, it was getting a hang of trying to figure out where his feet need to be to snap it straight. Then once we got the hang of that he was great.”During the practice, starting long snapper junior Zach Smith, redshirt senior punter Kris Albarado, Budrovich and other special teams players helped guide Olson routinely snap the ball to routinely convert PATs.“I mean, he is stoked,” said Conner Sullivan, a friend of Olson and a fellow Orange Lutheran alum. “He’s been waiting for this his whole life. He’s been around this team since Pete Carroll welcomed him here. Sark’s done the same thing. It’s good to see him out here, finally, in pads.”Olson was a long snapper his junior and senior in high school, guided onto the field and positioned over the ball by a teammate. Olson eventually earned the opportunity to fill the starting role for his high school team and received a scholarship to attend USC.“Jake and I were good friends in high school. I knew that he wanted to be a Trojan since he was a freshman. And because it was always a dream of mine to play college football, you know it’s a tough road, but you also know that anything is possible. So when he said he wanted to do it, I believed him.”Olson was born with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the retina. He lost his left eye when he was 10 months old and, despite numerous procedures on his other eye, he had his right eye removed in 2009 when he was 12. Olson, a lifelong Trojan fan, was introduced to the team when Pete Carroll was the coach. Carroll welcomed Olson as a frequent visitor to USC practices and games. Olson told Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times that this allowed him to find comfort in an otherwise extremely difficult time.“There were nights of crying and stressful times when I couldn’t get the thought of going blind out of my psyche,” Olson said. “But every time I was up at ’SC or talking to one of the players or just being around, it was just pure fun. And, truthfully, pure peace.”While playing football at USC has certainly had an immeasurable impact on Olson’s life, the freshman’s story seems to have had a similar impact on those of his new teammates.“I think it is really awesome. It is inspirational for everybody.” Budrovich said. “Because just to see him out here just brings kind of a happy spirit. Everyone is in a better mood when they see him. Everyone loves him, so I just think it is the best experience for him.”Olson is a motivational speaker and has co-authored two books about overcoming adversity. His story has been chronicled nationally, being featured in several ESPN stories.“He is an awesome kid, and I am excited to have him on the team,” redshirt senior quarterback Cody Kessler said. “Motivation-wise, when guys see that when they are out there in practice, tired, maybe not wanting to work hard today. They see him out here playing great. And it motivates you and shows the impact that a single person can have on a team — it’s really cool.”Olson lives with seven roommates. Though he says that his roommates help him out from time to time, Olson generally gets around with the help of Quebec. He gets to practice by himself.“Jake is just part of the team like the other freshman. And he doesn’t want to be treated any differently, and that is what I appreciate about him,” Sarkisian said. “Tomorrow is practice number two. And that is just how Jake would want it.”Like any other freshman, Olson had to get to class after practice. “It was great,” he said. “It was awesome. It was really fun.”
Published on March 26, 2016 at 3:28 am Contact Matt: email@example.com | @matt_schneidman CHICAGO – Almost every Syracuse player, coach and manager stood on the court away from their bench waiting for an answer. There were no replays visible to the team to show if Trevor Cooney’s left foot had touched the end line after he intercepted a pass in the corner diagonal to SU’s bench, but that didn’t matter. The referees were only reviewing how much time was on the clock when Cooney’s white shoe tip supposedly touched the black end line, and it felt like an eternity between a steal that could’ve been the difference between Syracuse exhaling and Gonzaga getting one last breath trailing 61-60.“I just think they were looking at the time. I don’t think they were looking at the play,” Cooney said. “I did my rotation and made a nice steal and they made a call.”Cooney had intercepted a pass intended for the corner thrown from under the hoop but his momentum carried him too far forward, according to the referees. One official came over and talked to SU head coach Jim Boeheim, who had no adverse reaction to Syracuse having 11.2 seconds to make the most important defensive stop of its season or let a run some thought should’ve never started come to an end.“From my perspective, I thought he did get a steal and called a timeout,” Michael Gbinije said.“It’s not like they were going to overturn it or anything,” Tyler Lydon said. “We tried calling a timeout on that possession and they didn’t see it unfortunately. We just tried to focus on the defensive end.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKyle Dranginis inbounded the ball from about as close to the intersection of the end line and sideline as he could get.“A dead corner,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said, “…that’s a really, really tough place to get it in.”A bounce pass to Silas Melson. A left-handed swing pass to Josh Perkins atop the key. One more bounce pass to Kyle Wiltjer on the opposite wing, the same area he’d repeatedly torched Syracuse from during his 23-point night. One dribble to his right and a pass over the head of Cooney and back to Perkins. By that time, over six seconds had elapsed and Perkins had five to make a play that would likely either extend Gonzaga’s season or end it.“With 11 seconds it’s hard to get a good shot against a zone,” Boeheim said. “I thought once they had to throw it out, I thought that gave us enough time.”Perkins beat Malachi Richardson off the dribble before driving right at Lydon, who stood two feet behind the foul line with Domantas Sabonis lurking under the hoop.“I just saw the play at the end develop and I’d rather try and step up and block a shot,” Lydon said. “… Just tried making a play on it.”One dribble with Perkins’ left hand. One right-handed floater, the same kind Gonzaga hit all night. But this one was different. This one Lydon tipped in the air with his left hand. He jumped and momentarily corralled the ball with two hands before being leveled by Wiltjer. As Lydon fell to his back without the ball, he flexed his arms, clenched his fists and let out a scream.“Perkins made a nice move to get into the lane,” Few said, “… a pretty good floater and (Lydon) made a heck of a play.”“Tyler Lydon made an unbelievable play because he normally stays back there but both their big guys were high, so I think he saw that and he read where Perkins was coming,” Boeheim said. “That’s a pretty big play for a freshman to make.”“I was pumped up about it, obviously,” Lydon said, “but I knew I had to knock down some free throws.”Each of the 10 players on the court meandered toward the opposite foul line. Four Gonzaga players stood to Lydon’s sides and the four Syracuse players stood outside the 3-point arc. Lydon sunk his first foul shot and his second hit the front rim, then the backboard and fell through the net with 1.6 seconds remaining to give Syracuse a 63-60 lead.“It’s March Madness and you’ve seen how many buzzer beaters this time of the year,” Lydon said. “So it’s never really over.”Again Dranginis inbounded, but this time with little chance to either extend his season or end it. Sabonis caught the ball at the near 3-point arc, turned and heaved a left-handed prayer that sailed well right of the hoop. Lydon extended both arms in the air and embraced Frank Howard. The magical run for Syracuse that was so often in doubt Friday night kept going, as the 10th-seeded Orange (22-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) escaped with a 63-60 win against No. 11 seed Gonzaga (28-8, 15-3 West Coast) to advance to the Elite Eight against No. 1 seed Virginia at 6:09 p.m. on Sunday.About 30 minutes after the game, Zach Lydon, Tyler’s older brother, slumped in his seat midway between the court and the concourse level of the United Center, a look of disbelief and exhaustion on his face. Tim Lydon, Tyler’s father, stood next to him, still in awe while flashing occasional smiles that seemed to bring a dose of reality to what his son had done.“You just see the kid’s freakin’ long arm come up,” Zach said. “I don’t even know what to think. It was just crazy.”“This is a little better than a state championship,” Tim said laughing. “I would say so for sure.”Boeheim was even asked if Lydon’s block was the second-most important in Syracuse history, behind Hakim Warrick’s rejection at the buzzer of the 2003 national title game.“Yeah, it’s a little ways behind the first one,” Boeheim said, unable to hold back a wide smirk. “Hakim would not appreciate me saying anything about that.”Two hours prior, Zach watched as Gonzaga hit shot after shot to open up an early double-digit lead. Some of those were floaters, eerily similar to the one Perkins had for a chance to put a dagger in Syracuse’s improbable NCAA Tournament run.“I immediately thought that was probably going be the one that would end the game,” Zach said.And he was right. That was the one that ended the game. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Syracuse (18-15, 4-8 Atlantic Coast) lost to Notre Dame (24-12, 8-4), 2-1, on Saturday at Melissa Cook Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana.Alexa Romero started for the Orange, going six innings and giving up two runs on two hits. Unfortunately for the left-handed ace, Syracuse couldn’t give her any run support as the Irish’s Alexis Holloway improved her record to 15-8 on the year with a one-run complete game.Syracuse appeared to get its offense going early in the first, advancing runners to second and third with no outs for its best hitter, Bryce Holmgren. But Holmgren popped out to third, and after a fielder’s choice, walk and groundout, Notre Dame escaped the inning unharmed. The next three half innings saw the minimum nine batters, as Romero was efficient on the mound and the Orange offense quieted.Sammy Fernandez, who reached base three times, got all the way to third base in the third inning but was stranded there for the second time after a Lailoni Mayfield strikeout. The Irish notched its first baserunner in the third inning but didn’t threaten offensively until the fourth. That’s when Katie Marino hit a solo home run to left center, breaking the scoreless tie.The score stayed that way until the top of the sixth, when Syracuse finally responded. A Neli Casares-Maher leadoff single was followed by pinch-hit double by Hannah Dossett, scoring the third baseman all the way from first.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe bottom half of the inning began auspiciously for SU, with Notre Dame’s first two batters being retired. But a walk and a stolen base gave the Irish a runner in scoring position, and UND didn’t waste its opportunity. Abby Sweet singled up the middle, driving in the go-ahead and game-winning run after the Orange went down quietly in the seventh.Syracuse plays Notre Dame again on Sunday in a doubleheader, with first pitches scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Comments Published on April 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm Contact Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org | @esblack34 Facebook Twitter Google+
SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Submit Share Richard FitzGerald steps down as RMG CEO August 6, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Related Articles SIS expands into the numbers game with 49’s takeover June 29, 2020 Industry supplier of racing media and data products SIS has informed that Chief Executive Gary Smith has stepped down as leader of the business, in order to ‘pursue other opportunities’.A gambling industry and media veteran, Smith was promoted from SIS Chief Operations Officer (COO) to CEO in July 2012. During his five-year leadership tenure, Smith has been a key stakeholder in the commercial development and product proposition of SIS, winning significant new supplier contracts for the business.Chairman Roger Devlin commented on the update “The Board would like to thank Gary for his dedicated service and contribution to SIS. During his tenure SIS managed to secure both the RMG Horse Racing and Irish Horse Racing Rights. Gary will provide consultancy services for a short period to ensure a smooth transition during this change in leadership.”Richard AmesDevlin further announced that Richard Ames current Interim Product Director would replace Smith as SIS CEO. Ames a former Ladbrokes executive rejoined SIS operations last November taking over group product development.“I am pleased to have secured someone with Richard’s experience of the industry to take over the role.” Devline addedAmes commented on taking on SIS leadership “The team at SIS Betting is experienced and committed and I am looking forward to working with them. We will continue to deliver great service for our core retail bookmaker customers and new online customers, as well as broadening our product offer for both retail and online markets in line with our diversification strategy. I am also looking forward to working with David Meynell, MD of our SIS LIVE media business and his team, who will continue to drive our connectivity proposition to new and different markets.”
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has handed late call-ups to the Black Stars squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Cape Verde.Midfielder Afriyie Acquah and China-based defender Lee Addy have been called up to replace two players who have pulled out of the game.Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has been withdrawn to allow him to join in the one week celebration of his late mother Cecilia Amoako.France-based defender Jonathan Mensah has also pulled out of the squad after he suffered a thigh injury while playing for his club Evian.Afriyie and Addy will join the Black Stars camp in Lisbon on Monday after they were handed the late call-ups.Ghana will play Cape Verde in Lisbon as both sides prepare for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in January.
Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “You just gotta be comfortable,” Lux said of what he learned from his big-league baptism. “For me, I think getting up here I just wasn’t as comfortable as I was maybe in the minor leagues. So for me it was just, let’s be as confident as possible and go out there, not have any doubts and let’s go play.“I think that’s the biggest thing and not getting sped up in the batter’s box. … I think those two things are obviously very important as far as lessons I learned.”At 22, he enters the abbreviated 2020 season as an early frontrunner to win the NL Rookie of the Year award.“You know, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t (a goal), but it’s not number one,” he said.“I would rather win a World Series than win a rookie year. For me, that’s the main goal — trying to win games, and any statistic or accolades or anything that’s secondary.”IN THIS TOGETHERThe Dodgers released a video on social media that featured nine players (including Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Lux and others) pledging their support of efforts to address “racism, inequality and justice.”“Silence is no longer an option,” Kershaw says, ending with “we must unapologetically say Black lives matter.”The players wore T-shirts with the motto “In This Together” for Thursday’s workout. Those shirts are available for purchase at Dodgers.com/Together with the proceeds going to the California Funders for Boys & Men of Color Southern California. The players have pledged to match the funds raised.“I’m proud of them. I’m proud to be a part of this,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think Clayton and some other guys spearheaded this. They’ve been very intentional. They’ve been shaken. And so for them to not only talk the talk but walk the walk and lead by their actions it’s very commendable.”In the midst of the protest movement sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, Kershaw released a statement (on Juneteenth) pledging his commitment to “affecting change — starting with myself.”“I want to listen, I want to learn, I want to do better and be different,” Kershaw wrote at the time. “I want my kids to be different.”According to the Dodgers, Kershaw, Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling and Turner participated in a “listening session” with community leaders earlier this week.“It’s just accepting the responsibility for things we can change as a white guy,” Kershaw said at the start of camp. “A lot of things that have come to light in the past few weeks and months has been enlightening to me honestly — being naive about some of the things that have gone on with our Black community and things like that.“I think it was important for me to take accountability for the things that I can do and take action for it. I’ve made some statements, I’ve done some things in the media. Now it’s time to work on the action part of that. That’s what myself and the Dodgers and my teammates are working on, to try to figure out the best way to bring those words to action.”ROSTER MOVESThe Dodgers placed catcher Keibert Ruiz on the 10-day injured list. Ruiz is the only player on the 40-man roster who has not reported to camp. (David Price opted out of playing this season.) The Dodgers have given no reason for Ruiz’s absence.In addition, outfielder Terrance Gore was in uniform for Thursday night’s intrasquad game. Earlier this week, Roberts said the team was considering adding Gore as a pinch-running threat with rosters expanded to 30 for the first two weeks of the regular season and 28 for the next two weeks.ALSORoberts said Walker Buehler is scheduled to pitch two innings during Friday’s intrasquad game. Buehler has been behind the Dodgers’ other starting pitchers and this would be his first action in an intrasquad game.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “It’s just let’s play baseball. For me personally, you know, I don’t have any underlying health issues or anything like that. I live on my own, so there’s no risk for me giving it to somebody who’s at risk at home.”While he was home waiting for baseball to get going again, Lux said he was able to work out with some Milwaukee Brewers who were in the area and other players from the Chicago area. His uncle, Augie Schmidt (the No. 2 overall pick in the 1982 draft and now a college coach), was there to throw batting practice.“I was getting a lot of live at-bats all quarantine so I’m not worried about at-bats at all,” Lux said.“I think I took a couple days off when we first canceled spring training just to travel and stuff. Then I was pretty much working out right away and getting everything baseball-wise I needed to do to feel like I was ready to get better. So yeah, I feel like I’m ready to go. I showed up ready to go.”A year ago at this time, Lux was in the middle of a red-hot stretch that saw him tear up Triple-A pitching. He hit .435 in July (split between Double-A and Triple-A) with a 1.355 OPS and wound up making his big-league debut in September. Things didn’t go as well after that. He batted .240 in 23 games with the Dodgers (including just 1 for 12 against left-handed pitching) and went 2 for 9 in the National League Division Series loss to the Nationals. LOS ANGELES — Gavin Lux has his own YouTube channel. But there are still some things he would like to keep private.One of several Dodgers who were unavailable to participate in the first handful of Summer Camp workouts, the Dodgers rookie would not answer questions about the reasons for that delay, saying it was “private information.” Of those late arrivals, only closer Kenley Jansen has acknowledged he tested positive for COVID-19.In Lux’s case, he returned to his home in Wisconsin after MLB shut down spring training in mid-March and then had to travel to Los Angeles and pass intake testing before being cleared to join the team.“I think everyone has to go through their options of wearing a mask when you’re not on the field if you’re a player. Keep washing your hands, social distancing, making the right decisions — I think it’s pretty basic at this point what everyone’s got to do at this point to make this work. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Lux said of the health and safety protocols put in place this season. 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Redskins’ quarterback competition ‘might come down to the wire,’ Jay Gruden says The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy. Although it’s not over, today is a big milestone. We are shedding the weight Alex has been carrying (literally and figuratively). It’s one step closer to the goal. The resilience, determination and mental fortitude of this man is unmatched.A post shared by Elizabeth Smith (@lizbsmith11) on Jul 15, 2019 at 9:58am PDT While Smith has stated his high hopes, those around him believe he’ll do whatever it takes to reach his goals.“If you know Alex, you know he’s gonna do everything he can to come back — that’s all you can say about him, he’s one of the greatest competitors there is,” coach Jay Gruden told Yahoo Sports. “Those injuries hurt him a little bit, but he’s got a great attitude and a great mindset of he’s gonna get well, he’s gonna get better and he’s gonna play. And that’s all we can do is support him in that regard any way we can. We’re all behind him, we’ll do anything for him.” Redskins to sign Donald Penn amid Trent Williams’ holdout, report says View this post on Instagram Redskins quarterback Alex Smith isn’t giving up hope of returning to the field in the near future, despite suffering a horrific leg injury last season that resulted in multiple surgeries and a long path to recovery. “I’m still determined [to play], still marching down the road, still optimistic,” Smith told Yahoo Sports in a recent interview. “I want to push it, for the challenge’s sake. I want to see what I’ve got … I enjoy the challenge, even to this [recovery], coming out here and being with the guys. It’s not going to last forever. I’d like to see where it leads.” As for the challenges ahead? Smith said his long-term hope is to work his way back toward becoming a starter.“Well, it’s hard enough to play the quarterback position when you’re 100 percent, and I don’t think you could fake it if I wasn’t,” Smith said. “So the goal is to get back to that, yeah.” Related News Smith suffered a compound fracture in his leg during the team’s loss to the Texans in Week 11 and underwent surgery Nov. 19. He initially was expected to need six to eight months to recover, but he ended up having to have more surgeries because of an infection. ESPN reported amputation became an option at one point.Smith said he “knew right away” that his injury was bad: “As soon as I looked down, my leg wasn’t straight.” Just more than eight months later, Smith has taken steps forward in his recovery process. Yahoo Sports notes he can now drive and work out, and he was able to take off an external fixator, which is a metal frame designed to stabilize his bone, in mid-July after wearing it for more than seven months. Josh Johnson turns down offer from Ravens, report says Gruden believes Smith’s presence on the sideline will have a big influence on his team. The Redskins are relying on first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins and veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy to help fill Smith’s void as all three are competing for the starting job. “He’s been in all these situations and he knows what they’re like,” Gruden added. “Playoff situations, third down, red zone, clock stoppages, all that stuff … he can help the quarterbacks out.”