Washington benches QB Haskins, switches to Allen vs. Rams

NFL Dallas

Two days after hinting about Dwayne Haskins’ status being up in the air, Ron Rivera has benched the second-year quarterback and decided to start Kyle Allen for Washington’s next game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Washington’s team Twitter feed announced the QB switch Wednesday. On Monday, Rivera said of Haskins: ”It’s a tough situation. We’re looking at our circumstances right now as a football team.”

The circumstances now make Haskins the No. 3 quarterback behind Allen and veteran Alex Smith. Rivera made the move four games into the season with Washington off to a 1-3 start and on a three-game losing streak after rallying to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1.

Rivera passed on the opportunity to bring in former Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, whom he’d coached for nine seasons dating to his rookie year, preferring to give Haskins an opportunity to keep his starting job. Washington acquired Allen from Carolina instead, and Smith was cleared for full contact 22 months since breaking his right tibia and fibula.

Haskins was made the Week 1 starter, and Rivera saw some of Newton’s qualities in the 2019 first-round pick out of Ohio State. Leading a comeback against Philadelphia after no preseason work in new offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s system was a good start.

It was downhill from there. Haskins completed 72 of 115 passing attempts, threw three touchdowns and three interceptions and was sacked 10 times during Washington’s three game skid.

Overall, Haskins has thrown for 939 yards and has completed 61% of his passes, with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

As a rookie, he had 1,365 yards passing, seven TDs and seven interceptions and completed 58.6% of his throws. Washington went 2-5 in his starts last year.

Agent David Mulugheta tweeted Sunday pointing out Haskins’ limited opportunity as a starter, the new system, lack of weapons and young offensive line contributing to the current situation. Haskins has just 11 NFL starts and 13 appearances.

Rivera was looking for growth from Haskins and didn’t see enough in Sunday’s 31-17 loss to Baltimore. A key play came on fourth-and-goal from the 13-yard line, with Haskins managing only a 5-yard pass to the 8, turning the ball over on downs.

He’ll now look for Allen to make those plays. The 24-year-old took over under Rivera in Carolina last season when Newton was injured. Allen only has slightly more experience than Haskins: 13 pro starts and 15 appearances in which he has thrown for 19 TDs and 16 INTs.

Smith, 36, will be active for the first time since his gruesome injury Nov. 18, 2020. After undergoing 17 surgeries to repair the broken bones and surviving a life-threatening infection, Smith is now one injury to Allen away from completing a remarkable comeback.

AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed.

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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