WASHINGTON - The Washington Football Team just suffered a big blow before even stepping on the field in its playoff game tonight against Tampa Bay.
The team announced on Twitter that Quarterback Alex Smith will be inactive.
Undrafted Old Dominion product Taylor Heinicke will get the start under center.
Washington is 5-1 this season when Smith starts. He is the frontrunner for the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award after coming back from a devastating leg injury that required 17 surgeries.
But he recently injured the calf in his surgically repaired leg. Smith started Washington's game last week against Philadelphia but threw two interceptions and apparently didn't exit the game feeling well.
Washington lost 13-20 in Heinicke's lone appearance this season in Week 16 against Carolina.
Heinicke was solid in the outing, completing 12 of 19 passes for one touchdown and no interceptions.
Vegas oddsmakers on Friday set Washington as 8-point underdogs tonight against Tampa Bay.
Losing Smith won't make the matchup any easier.
The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. The Washington Football Team last won a playoff game about 15 years ago in the 2005-06 season against, coincidentally, Tampa Bay.