Source: WFT’s Haskins to start after punishment

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins will start Sunday against the Carolina Panthers with starter Alex Smith expected to be inactive for the second straight week with a calf injury, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Haskins was fined and removed from his role as a team captain Tuesday by coach Ron Rivera after he was photographed at an event with strippers while not wearing a mask. Sources told ESPN that the fine was for $40,000.

Haskins apologized to his teammates and took starter reps in practice this week.

“I know my team needs me,” Haskins said Tuesday. “I need to step up to the plate and I can’t be selfish and I need to stop getting in my own way. I’m putting things in motion as far as a plan for myself to be a better teammate and be more accountable and fix my issues that have brought me to this situation.”

Haskins attended his girlfriend’s birthday party last Sunday at a hotel where strippers were present. It was the second time this season he violated COVID-19 protocols. Earlier this year, he made a reservation for a family friend at the team hotel the night before a game at the New York Giants.

Washington can win the NFC East title on Sunday with a win and a loss by the New York Giants, who play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

ESPN’s John Keim contributed to this report.

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