Washington Football Team benches Dwayne Haskins for Kyle Allen

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 04: Quarterback Kyle Allen #8 of the Washington Football Team warms up against the Baltimore Ravens at FedExField on October 04, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 04: Quarterback Kyle Allen #8 of the Washington Football Team warms up against the Baltimore Ravens at FedExField on October 04, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Per reports, the Washington Football Team will bench second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins for backup Kyle Allen in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams.

It’s no secret that Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins has gotten off to a rough start in 2020. After showing growth in the latter stretch of the 2019 season, Haskins came into 2020 incubated by measured optimism, and there was hope that he could run away with the starting job, after receiving a full endorsement from Ron Rivera.

After working with Scott Turner and renowned quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese over the summer, Haskins appeared primed to breakout. But the regular season action itself painted a different picture.

Haskins rode a strong defensive performance to a win in Week 1, but only regressed in the weeks that followed, as the Washington Football Team lost by double-digits to the Cardinals, Browns, and Ravens.

After Haskins’ four-turnover performance against Cleveland, in which he displayed a tendency to panic under pressure and startlingly inconsistent mechanics, Rivera acknowledged that there was a cut-off point in mind for Haskins if he didn’t show growth.

Haskins responded with the first 300-yard game of his career against the Ravens, and improved his mechanics a bit, even though he was still inconsistent. Rivera said in his press conference after the game that Haskins did show the growth necessary to buy himself some time, but this morning, he made a decision directly contradictory to that statement.

According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Washington Football Team is benching Haskins for backup quarterback Kyle Allen this week against Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams. Just four games into the season, Haskins has lost his starting job. Alex Smith will be the backup.

This move now clouds the long-term outlook of Haskins, who was drafted at No. 15 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft just one year ago. Washington invested a great deal of time and energy into Haskins this offseason, and he was even voted a captain by his teammates. But now, he’s on the bench, his confidence likely shot, and his standing with the coaching staff at a new all-time low.

It will be interesting to learn if something happened behind the scenes to expedite this decision. Haskins was still perceivably limited in Week 4, but he did show growth in certain areas. Perhaps the Eagles’ win prompted Ron Rivera to more seriously pursue Washington’s chances of winning the division, and he feels that his team has a better chance with Allen.

Allen, of course, was acquired via trade from the Panthers over the offseason; the Washington Football Team sent a fifth-round pick in exchange for the third-year passer.

Allen first joined Rivera’s Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2018, where he flashed potential in the final game of the season. He then took over as starter for an injured Cam Newton in 2019, and threw seven touchdowns to zero interceptions in his first four contests, winning all four of them.

Allen would soon regress, however. His volatile play style aged poorly over the course of the 2019 season, and he closed out the year throwing for 10 touchdowns to sixteen interceptions, losing eight of his final nine games, including one against Bill Callahan’s Washington Football Team in Week 13.

Allen has proven himself to be an adequate backup, and at just 24 years old, he has the youth appeal that Haskins had, as well as some mobility and arm strength. But Allen will likely be similarly volatile with Washington, and while his experience in Scott Turner’s scheme may prove helpful, it’s hard to expect this will be a terminal move.

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The most pressing question, in light of this substitution, is what happens to Dwayne Haskins. There does appear to be a chance that Washington will move back to Haskins if they get eliminated from playoff contention, after he’s had time to sit on the bench. But after this unexpected update, no one truly knows what will happen next.