Washington safety Landon Collins was surprised by Dwayne Haskins’ benching

Landon Collins says he was surprised by Haskins’ benching originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Cornerback Kendall Fuller commended his head coach for being forward when announcing last week’s quarterback change, but another member of the Washington Football Team secondary admitted he was caught off guard by Ron Rivera’s decision to bench Dwayne Haskins for Kyle Allen.

“Surprised a little bit,” Landon Collins said when asked about the QB switch in a recent interview with Josina Anderson.

“I would say more surprised when we came in what was said, what was done,” Collins continued.

Haskins was relegated from the team’s starting quarterback to third-string last Wednesday, just four weeks into the season. The move came at an odd time, as Haskins was coming off a career-high 314 passing yards in Washington’s loss to the Ravens.

While Collins was a little bit shocked at Haskins’ demotion, the safety did say the move was understandable if the coaches felt the second-year passer wasn’t performing up to par.

That’s precisely why Rivera made the switch to Allen, citing his new signal-caller’s knowledge of the system, having played under offensive coordinator Scott Turner last season in Carolina.

“Like any other quarterback, if you play good, you get to keep your job,” Collins said. “If you don’t, you don’t keep your job. The same thing at safety, if I kept missing tackles, I could lose my job.”

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Allen’s first game as Washington’s starter did not go as planned for the third-year quarterback. In the second quarter, Allen attempted to stretch for a first down when he was leveled by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a collision in which Ramsey got the best of the quarterback.

The collision caused Allen to injure his left, non-throwing arm, forcing him to miss the remainder of the game. Allen’s prognosis forced Washington to insert Alex Smith into the game, completing as remarkable a comeback as you’ll see in sports.

“It was crazy. Smiles everywhere. It was unbelievable,” Collins said on Smith’s return.

For months, the thought of Smith playing in another NFL game seemed impossible. After all, he needed 17 surgeries to fix his injured leg and was forced to wear a metal fixator for months. Yet, less than two years after his near life-threatening injury, No. 11 took the field once again.

Many watching Washington’s game on Sunday were worried for Smith, especially after everything he’s gone through. Collins was not one of those people, however, as the safety was confident in Smith’s ability to play after seeing what he’s capable of doing in practice.

“Y’all miss him fall on the ground, getting back up, hopping back up, throwing the ball down the field, 60-yard passes, crazy stuff,” Collins said. “So we already knew he could do it. So we already had the confidence in him, but to see him on the field again was amazing.”

Smith played the remainder of the game for Washington, but it’s unknown when he’ll see the field next. After the game, Rivera announced that Allen would be the team’s starter moving forward, with Smith serving as the backup and Haskins third on the depth chart. 

Haskins has not had the start to his career that he would have liked, but Collins — who shares the same agent with the QB — wants him to know that Haskins has the support of his teammates.

“Always try to be a great teammate, be there for your boys, because we got your back,” Collins said.

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