October 13, 2020 | 2:18pm
This isn’t a temporary benching so Dwayne Haskins can learn from the sideline.
Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera made it perfectly clear that the second-year quarterback is buried on the depth chart behind veterans Alex Smith and Kyle Allen.
“I saw enough,” Rivera said on NBC Sports’ “Washington Football Talk” podcast. “For 11 weeks he was our starter.”
That’s the timeframe between the start of training camp and when Haskins was replaced after four games by Allen. Smith, who missed nearly two full years with a leg injury, finished last week’s game after Allen suffered an arm injury.
If Allen is healthy, he will start Sunday against the Giants. If not, it will be Smith. It will not be Haskins, who now reportedly is available via trade.
“It’s interesting because we went through training camp and gave him every rep with the [first team] in terms of trying to develop him and get him ready to go,” Rivera said. “Through the four games we didn’t see what we were looking for. I made the decision to go forward with Kyle and Alex.”
That’s two coaching staffs who soured quickly on Haskins.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder reportedly forced the first-round draft pick on former head coach Jay Gruden, who then turned to an ill-prepared Haskins in Week 4 against the Giants last season. Gruden was fired soon after and Haskins, who went to private high school in Maryland with one of Snyder’s sons, started under interim coach Bill Callahan.
Haskins is 3-8 as a starter with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions — raw numbers that don’t suggest an early write-off. But he entered the league with questions swirling behind the scenes about his maturity and did not do much to quiet them.
Washington (1-4) is just one game back in the lowly NFC East, and Rivera is trying to set up his team to capitalize on the gifted route to the playoffs by starting a veteran.
“I know I was very positive because I’m trying to build confidence in the young man, not just for him but for his teammates,” Rivera said. “There’s also a point where you sit there and say, ‘OK, how many chances?’ These next 3-to-5 weeks are different. There’s an opportunity and we’ve got to take advantage of it, and I wanted to put the ball in the hands of somebody I think that knows the system a little bit better. I think Dwayne has an NFL arm. But I also think, right now, he’s still developing. He’s a young football player. Didn’t play a lot of football in college.”