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After being benched after week four of the regular season, Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins is getting a shot at redemption. Haskins will be the starter on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, with Alex Smith unavailable due to a calf injury.
Haskins entered the 49ers game last week after Smith’s injury. His main task was to hold on Washington’s lead, which he successfully accomplished. The second-year quarterback completed 7-of-12 passes for 51 yards and no turnovers.
Following the game, Haskins was emotional about the opportunity he had to get back on the field after abruptly sliding down to QB3 in week five.
“The biggest growth that I’ve had has just been as a person,” Haskins said in the postgame news conference. “This is probably the biggest amount of adversity that I’ve faced since coming into this world. I prayed, and I prayed again, and I’m just glad that I’m able to be here right now and tell you guys that I’m thankful.”
The key factors holding Haskins back as the consistent starter in Washington have been his perceived lack of maturity and poor study habits. After shadowing Alex Smith for a few weeks, it appears he is taking some positive steps forward.
“He’s showing growth and that’s the thing we’ve got to look for,” Coach Ron Rivera said. “The first couple throws you saw were a lot of quick decisions, good decisions, with some poise back. He was just operating the offense.”
“I think the biggest thing with him is just he’s really kind of shadowed and modeled the preparation behind Alex,” offensive coordinator Scott Turner said. “I heard Dwayne say that, that Alex is somebody that he looks up to. I think he really took that to heart when he looked at the type of career Alex has had.
“That’s where he’s made the most strides, and it’s something that people don’t see getting ready for a game,” Turner continued. “Put yourself in a situation where, if you do get the opportunity to play, then you’re ready to make the most of it.”
Seattle won’t be an easy task with the weapons on the Seahawks’ offense, beginning with Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett. However, one of their weaknesses is their defense, which Haskins should be able to take advantage of in the matchup.
As for Coach Rivera, he wants to evaluate the state of Haskins’ growth since his benching.
“Just to play with consistency more so than anything else,” Rivera said. “Again, as I said, Dwayne has worked hard. He’s paid attention and has watched. I believe he’s learned. I’m just looking forward to seeing, if he gets that opportunity, how things go.”
While Haskins’ future with Washington is still unclear, he will have another chance to prove that he has what it takes to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.