For the third time this season, Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins has lost his starting job.
After Haskins’ disastrous performance on Sunday, head coach Ron Rivera told the media on Monday that Taylor Heinicke would start in Week 17 if Alex Smith’s calf injury hadn’t healed.
Ron Rivera said Taylor Heinicke will start if Alex Smith can't go Sunday in Philadelphia.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 28, 2020
Heinicke replaced Haskins when Rivera benched him during Washington’s 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Haskins passed over for 3 different quarterbacks in 2020
Haskins began the season as Washington’s starter ahead of Smith and Kyle Allen, but four difficult starts later, Rivera had seen enough. He benched Haskins after their Week 4 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and named Allen the starter and Smith the No. 2. Haskins had gone from starter to third string.
Allen might have remained the starter for the rest of the year, but he was knocked out for the season when he sustained a gruesome leg injury in Week 9. He was replaced by Smith during the game, and then Rivera named Smith the new starter, again passing over Haskins.
Haskins got another chance to start and possibly stick there in Week 14 when Smith hurt his calf during the game. He replaced Smith and started Week 15 and 16 ... but then it went downhill. Rivera benched Haskins during the Panthers game and put in Heinicke, a former XFL player who reportedly put off his final exams at Old Dominion to become Washington’s quarantine quarterback.
Taylor Heinicke was taking online classes at ODU and preparing for final exams when Washington called about being it's quarantine quarterback.
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 28, 2020
Now Heinicke has been named the starter for Washington’s final game of the season, and Haskins will once again ride the bench.
Haskins living ‘hardest week’ of his life
Sunday’s benching was just the latest development in the recent Haskins saga. Following Washington’s Week 15 loss, Haskins was photographed partying at a club (reportedly a strip club, which Haskins has denied) without a mask. Washington and the NFL were both made aware of the images, and Haskins subsequently apologized for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols by attending a gathering and failing to wear a mask.
Rivera stripped Haskins of his captaincy and reportedly fined him $40,000, the largest known individual COVID protocol fine this season. All of that, plus his benching, was swirling through his head after Sunday’s game, and he left the facility without doing a media session.
Haskins did do a media session later on Sunday, telling reporters that it had been “the hardest week of my life.”
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