When Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins was relegated from starter to third-string on the depth chart last week, it all but seemed head coach Ron Rivera had decided that the 23-year-old would not be the team’s starting QB long-term.
On Wednesday, Rivera was asked once again about Haskins’ future in Washington. While he avoided the question about whether the QB was on the trade block, the head coach did say the team has far from given up on him.
“Again, as I said, I have not quit on the kid as far as his development,” Rivera told reporters Wednesday. “This is an opportunity for him to continue to learn and grow and develop.”
Rivera, once again, reiterated that the switch from Haskins to Kyle Allen — and moving Alex Smith to the backup role — had to do with those passer’s knowledge of the offensive system and the upcoming stretch of NFC East games.
“The thing that we’ve done is we’ve looked at where we are and said: ‘Hey, these guys give us a better chance to win right now because they know what we do, they understand the system and they’ve been in the system,'” Rivera said.
“I thought these guys with their knowledge of what we do gives us a better chance,” Rivera continued. “This is a pretty interesting set of circumstances these next five games.”
For months, Rivera and his staff have preached that the 2020 season was about the development of his team’s young roster, specifically Haskins. But by pulling the plug on Haskins just four games in, that developmental year seemed to no longer be a thing.
In Allen’s debut this past Sunday, the quarterback seemed to move the offense with some success. Allen finished 9-of-13 passing for 74 yards and a rushing touchdown before an arm injury in the second quarter forced him out for the remainder of the game.
Smith replaced Allen, and as triumphant and remarkable of a return as it was, the quarterback struggled to move the ball for Washington. Smith finished 9-of-17 for 37 yards; Washington had -6 yards of total offense in the second half.
Still, based on Rivera’s comments, it doesn’t appear as if he plans to reinsert Haskins into the starting lineup anytime soon.
“Dwayne’s a young man that’s learning and growing. He hasn’t been in the system,” Rivera said. “He hasn’t had the benefit of a full offseason. He hasn’t had the benefit of a true training camp. Based on what I saw, I made the decision to make the switch.”