NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport reported on October 7 that the Washington Football Team will be making a change at quarterback. Washington is benching starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins and handing the job over to Kyle Allen for their October 11 game against the L.A. Rams, according to a source informed of the situation. Alex Smith will be dressed as the backup while Haskins will be inactive, the club announced.
The 2019 first-round pick has started 11 games total so far in his young career after starting just 14 games in college at Ohio State. On September 28, Washington coach Ron Rivera said he was committed to Haskins at quarterback after a three-interception performance. However, things tend to change rapidly in the NFL.
Haskins is coming off his first career 300-plus game in the 31-17 Week 4 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He set career highs in attempts (45), completions (32), passing yards (314) and completion percentage (71.1, min. 20 attempts) on October 4.
Haskin’s inconsistencies this season, however, have been glaring. Through four games, he has thrown for 939 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions and has taken 13 sacks (on pace for 52 over 16 games). Next Gen Stats ranks Haskins at a -27.4 EPA (expected points added) through the first month. This EPA is fourth-worst among quarterbacks with at least 50 pass attempts. His -6.6 completion percentage over expected is second-worst, ahead of only Broncos QB Jeff Driskel. Driskel was benched by Denver after just 64 pass attempts after filling in for the injured Drew Lock.
Rivera now turns to Allen, who he brought with him from Carolina. The third-year pro started 13 games for the Panthers from 2018-2019, filling in for injured starter Cam Newton. Allen posted a 61.9 completion percentage, 250.4 passing yards per game and a 19-15 TD-INT ratio as a starter. Carolina went 6-7 in his starts.
Allen’s familiarity with Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s offense from his time with the Panthers should be an important asset during their match-up against the Rams on October 11.
If Allen struggles as well, Rivera has the option of either turning back to Haskins after letting the second-year QB watch from the bench for a few games or starting veteran QB Alex Smith. Smith remains on Washington’s active roster as he continues to recover from a gruesome leg injury.