October 7, 2020 | 10:01am
Dwayne Haskins is headed back to the bench, and not just as the backup.
The Washington Football Team and coach Ron Rivera evidently had a short leash for the second-year quarterback, making a change after four games with Kyle Allen now set to become the starter on Sunday.
Veteran Alex Smith, two years removed from a serious leg injury, is being promoted to backup duties, further burying Haskins on the depth chart.
Haskins, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, had completed 89 of 146 passes for 939 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions through Washington’s 1-3 start.
With the miserable NFC East still up for the taking, Rivera is going to Allen — the undrafted QB who started 12 games for him last year in Carolina — to try to take advantage of a “window” in the schedule, according to the NFL Network. Washington plays the Rams on Sunday, then the Giants and Cowboys before its bye week, with games against the Giants, Lions, Bengals and Cowboys to follow.
Haskins’ agent, David Mulugheta, had defended the Ohio State product before Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Ravens in response to an NFL Network story that reported the pressure was on Haskins to avoid being benched.
“Amazing this is the narrative coming out of DC,” Mulugheta tweeted. “A young QB (10 starts total over 2 seasons) who is in a brand new system, with no off-season in said new system, a young OL, limited weapons on offense and only 3 games into the NFL season. Yet “he” is the one that must play well.”
Haskins got his feet wet last year as a rookie, making seven starts for interim coach Bill Callahan after Jay Gruden had been fired midseason. He completed 119 of 203 passes for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.