Dwayne Haskins’ brutal week capped by benching in Washington’s costly loss to Panthers

Dwayne Haskins did not have a merry week.

It started with violations of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols resulting in a $40,000 fine. After that, the Washington Football Team stripped the second-year quarterback of his team captaincy. To cap it all off, Haskins was brutal in Week 16 against the Panthers before being benched for Taylor Heinicke.

Haskins reportedly attended a strip club without a mask on early in the week. He later said that it wasn’t a strip club but rather a private birthday party. He was fined regardless, and he lost his captaincy Wednesday.

Despite all of that, Washington didn’t have much choice to start Haskins on Sunday with Alex Smith (calf) inactive due to injury. The WFT needed its 2019 first-round selection to deliver, since Washington controlled its own destiny at the top of the NFC East. A 20-13 loss to the Panthers leaves Washington’s playoff fate hanging in the balance in Week 17.

Instead, Washington started the game with a three-and-out, a Haskins fumble, two more punts and a Haskins interception. After a field goal for Washington, Haskins threw a pick right before halftime.

Haskins played the first drive of the fourth quarter but was then pulled for Heinicke. The final line for Haskins: 14-for-28 passing, 154 yards and two interceptions to go with his lost fumble.

There’s been speculation since Haskins’ benching following Week 4 that his days in Washington might be numbered. WFT coach Ron Rivera wasn’t the one who drafted Haskins, after all. If Haskins was trying to impress folks in Washington and get another chance with the WFT, his past week didn’t do any favors. 

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