Keenum is expected to return as Cleveland's backup quarterback for 2021. Keenum appeared in one game, serving in relief while starter Baker Mayfield dealt with a rib injury. He signed a three-year deal prior to the 2020 season, which includes guaranteed money for 2021, and the soon-to-be 33-year-old Keenum is a known commodity to coach Kevin Stefanski.
Keenum completed five of 10 pass attempts for 46 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in Week 6 against the Steelers. Keenum entered the game late in the third quarter after Baker Mayfield was pulled due to the aggravation of his rib injury. The game was already well out of reach, so Keenum wasn't asked to do much in the closing quarter. However, Keenum could be counted on to start in Week 7 against the Bengals if Mayfield is too injured to suit up. Keenum last saw major playing time as the quarterback for Washington in 2019, when he managed a 65 percent completion rate and an 11:5 TD:INT ratio.
Keenum doesn't expect to re-sign with Washington, Ethan Cadeaux of NBC Sports Washington reports. New head coach Ron Rivera did say Dwayne Haskins (ankle) will have to earn the starting job, but that doesn't necessarily mean Rivera views someone like Keenum or Colt McCoy as a viable alternative. For what it's worth, Keenum went out of his way to compliment Haskins, noting that the 22-year-old showed enough improvement late in the season to keep the job heading into 2020. As for his own career prospects, Keenum hopes to find another opportunity to compete for a starting role. He's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent March 18 at the beginning of the new league year, one month after his 32nd birthday.
Keenum completed 18 of 37 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown with one interception in Sunday's 47-16 loss to the Cowboys. Getting his first start since Week 8 due to Dwayne Haskins' ankle injury, Keenum wasn't able to generate much offense against a desperate Dallas defense. The veteran QB finishes the year having completed a strong 64.8 percent of his passes (160-for-247), but his 11:5 TD:INT and 6.9 YPA over 10 games were less impressive. Those numbers should be good enough to land him a backup job as a free agent in the offseason, but Keenum is unlikely to return to Washington -- in addition to Haskins, the QB room could contain a returning Alex Smith (leg), and there's always the possibility a new head coach decides to bring in his own choice as a franchise QB with the second overall pick in next year's draft.
Keenum will start at quarterback Sunday against the Cowboys with interim coach Bill Callahan ruling Dwayne Haskins (ankle) out for the Week 17 contest, Nick Shook of NFL.com reports. Haskins' rookie season came to the end early in the third quarter of Sunday's 41-35 overtime loss to the Giants, when the first-round pick suffered a left high-ankle sprain. Keenum, who had opened the season as Washington's starter, came on in relief of Haskins for just his second appearance since Week 8, finishing out the loss with 16 completions for 158 yards and a score across 22 attempts to go along with a one-yard touchdown run. Keenum's presence under center shouldn't amount to much of a dropoff, if any, for Washington's pass catchers as the Redskins attempt to score an upset win over the playoff-hopeful Cowboys on the road.
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