Skip to main content

Ron Rivera Comments On Dwayne Haskins' Week 17 Status

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera on Sunday.

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 13: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Football Team watches the game in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on September 13, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The quarterback merry-go-round that is the Washington Football Team continued to spin on Sunday evening.

Washington fell to a struggling Carolina Panthers team in a disappointing 20-13 loss. After rookie Dwayne Haskins threw for 154 yards and two interceptions through the first three quarters, Ron Rivera benched him for the second time this season. Haskins was replaced by backup Taylor Heinicke in the fourth quarter.

With Alex Smith potentially coming back from a calf injury and a clear ongoing QB battle between Haskins and Heinicke -- the Washington quarterback situation couldn't be more up in the air.

Ron Rivera reportedly told reporters that he considered pulling Haskins in the first half, but wanted to see how he could respond in the second. The first-year Washington coach kept the doors closed on any possible information about his quarterback choice next week.

"We'll have to see," Rivera said of the QB situation,

Ron Rivera said he stuck with QB Dwayne Haskins in the second half because last week they moved the ball early in the second half. He thought about benching Haskins earlier, but he wanted to give Haskins a chance.

Could he remain the starter? "We'll have to see."

— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) December 28, 2020

">per Sam Fortier of the Washington Post.

In just one quarter of play, Heinicke showcased himself as an attractive backup option heading into Week 17. The young quarterback threw 12/19 for 131 yards and a touchdown in a valiant comeback effort. If Heinicke were to start next week, this would be just his second career start after taking an opening snap for the Panthers back in 2018.

Haskins started the WFT's first four games of the season and put up some disappointing numbers. In a 1-3 start, the rookie threw for four touchdowns, three interceptions and added two lost fumbles.

After getting benched by Ron Rivera in Week 5, Haskins was replaced by another former Panthers QB in Kyle Allen. Smith took over the starting job in Week 9 after Allen suffered a brutal, season-ending leg injury.

Despite the quarterback struggles all year, Washington somehow still sits at the top of the NFC East.

A win today would've clinched a divisional victory, but now Rivera and his squad will have to win next Sunday to keep their season alive.

Washington take on Philadelphia next week for their final chance to claim a playoff spot.