WASHINGTON (AP) — The Dwayne Haskins era may be here, but not the way the Redskins wanted it.
Haskins relieved concussed quarterback Case Keenum at halftime of Washington’s 19-9 loss at the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night. The 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft was 3 of 5 with an interception in his second NFL appearance and, with Keenum in concussion protocol, could be forced into his first pro start Nov. 3 at the Buffalo Bills.
Washington is 1-7, but there’s still no clarity on a plan for making Haskins the full-time starter and looking to develop young players for next season and beyond.
“The priority is developing our entire team,” coach Bill Callahan said on a conference call Friday. “We definitely want everybody on this team to improve, just not one position but everybody.”
Adrian Peterson’s still got it. He ran for 5.4 yards a carry against the team he spent most of his career with and moved into sixth on the rushing list. “The offensive line did it a great job,” Peterson said. They were getting some movement up front, and there was a couple of opportunities that I wish I could have back, but I felt like one of was going to break out eventually.”
Washington’s ground game could get a boost soon if Derrius Guice is able to return from a knee injury soon.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The defense has allowed a total of one touchdown the past two games, which is an improvement over a rough second half at Miami. But Minnesota ran for 109 of its 162 yards in the second half.”
The second half kind of got away from us a little,” defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis said. “The 9-, 10-yard runs pumped those numbers up, but if we kept them to 3-, 4-yard runs, the numbers wouldn’t look so bad after the game.”
Given the timeline on needing to report in time not to have his contract tolled, holdout left tackle Trent Williams could be back at the Redskins practice facility as soon as next week. Team President Bruce Allen has repeatedly said he wouldn’t trade Williams at this time.
“I really don’t know much about what’s going on with that situation other than that he’s not here,” said Callahan, who worked closely with Williams in previous years as offensive line coach. “That’s really completely out of my control at this point. We’ll just see as time goes on how it all plays out.”
Haskins is 12 of 22 with 140 yards and four interceptions through two NFL appearances. Since fired coach Jay Gruden was criticized for not doing more to develop Haskins — contrary to win-now expectations put on him from the front office — but the organization knows the Ohio State product isn’t really ready to be handed the reins yet.
“The big thing is situational awareness and knowing where we are at on the field,” Callahan said. “Trajectory of throws, fundamental techniques, those rotations and follow through. We don’t really want the ball to be sprayed into a coverage like (on his interception against Minnesota). I think he can learn some really invaluable things coming off the tape in terms of management: clock management, formational management.”
Callahan figures he’ll know more about Keenum’s status this weekend before the team gets back at it Monday. Cornerback Quinton Dunbar left the Vikings game with a hamstring injury, and backup safety Jeremy Reaves was concussed.
The Redskins were only penalized four times for 46 yards, both season lows in a department that has been a significant problem.
Getting Haskins ready to play at Buffalo is a necessity given Keenum’s uncertain status. That may mean simplifying some things, but the coaching staff has time to do that.
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