Redskins quarterback Alex Smith's recovery from a broken leg is expected to take six to eight months. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Washington Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said Monday that injured quarterback Alex Smith’s surgery went well, and that his recovery time is expected to be between six and eight months. Smith broke two bones in his lower right leg during Sunday’s 23-21 loss to the Houston Texans.

Colt McCoy is taking over Smith’s starting job for the rest of the season, while the team signed veteran Mark Sanchez on Monday to back him up.

There is less certainty involving the injured players at other positions on the roster, and many of those who missed Sunday’s game will face a steep challenge to be ready for Thursday’s Thanksgiving game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys.

The Redskins were without both left tackle Trent Williams (thumb) and running back Chris Thompson (ribs) on Sunday, and a short week makes their returns more difficult. Thompson has missed five games this season, and Williams has sat out the past three.

“Trent was so close last week, but it’s not a lot of time that’s going to give that thumb a chance for the swelling to go down,” Gruden said. “I don’t know, to be honest, on either one of them.”

The team also was without cornerback Quinton Dunbar (shin) and wide receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle) against Houston. Gruden said Dunbar is closer to returning than any of the others, but a nerve issue has kept him from being able to run at full speed.

The team will not have full practices before the Cowboys game and instead will hold walk-through sessions. The plan is to have Dunbar and Crowder running on the side to evaluate their progress.

Dunbar has missed four games, while Crowder hasn’t played since a Monday night loss to New Orleans on Oct. 8.

More Redskins:

Hail or Fail: Josh Norman praises Redskins fans, Jay Gruden mismanages the clock in loss

As Colt McCoy takes over as starting QB, he tells Redskins, ‘You’re in good hands with me’

‘Say your prayers and get ready for the next play’: Alex Smith injury shows game’s dark side comes in a blink