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Ron Rivera puts Dwayne Haskins on notice one day after sounding supportive

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera didn’t like what he saw from quarterback Dwayne Haskins on tape in Week 3. Rivera issued a statement of support for Haskins following Sunday’s loss, but the head coach changed his tune Monday.

Rivera said other players on Washington roster “deserve better” and admitted there is a “cutoff point” with Haskins.

Rivera declined to get into specifics about what it would take for him to bench Haskins.

Ron Rivera supported Dwayne Haskins on Sunday

That’s quite the turnaround from Sunday, when Rivera said he was going to “take his lumps” with Haskins. Following Sunday’s 34-20 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Rivera said letting Haskins play was the only way the quarterback was going to improve. That comment seemed to indicate Rivera wasn’t going to replace Haskins as the starter any time soon.

Haskins’ numbers are tough to ignore. Through three games, Haskins has completed just 56.4 percent of his passes, which ranks 32nd among quarterbacks. Haskins has thrown four touchdowns and three interceptions, and ranks 30th at 6.2 yards per attempt.

At 1-2, Washington is actually in pretty good shape. The rest of the NFC East has stumbled to begin the year, putting Washington in a first-place tie with the Dallas Cowboys atop the division. With better quarterback play, Washington could make some noise in a weak division.

Would Alex Smith replace Dwayne Haskins at quarterback?

If Rivera makes the change, that could open the door for Alex Smith to return to the starting role. Smith has recovered from a devastating leg injury, but has been inactive for every game this season. He’s not on injured reserve, suggesting he’s healthy enough to play in games if needed.

Kyle Allen, whom the team traded for in the offseason, has served as Haskins’ backup for the team’s first three games. That would presumably put Allen in line for playing time if Haskins continues to struggle, but that’s not guaranteed. Rivera can easily adjust the depth chart if he feels Smith is ready for action.

Smith’s status could indicate how Rivera feels about Haskins. If Smith inches his way up the depth chart and is active for Week 4, Haskins could be on thin ice if he struggles against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

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