There is a strong sense among some close to Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and many on the coaching staff, that watching the 2019 season from the sidelines would be best for his long-term development, team and league sources said. But there's also concern as to how Haskins' first season will actually unfold.
Haskins, the 16th overall pick in the draft, started just one season at Ohio State, where his team had superior talent most weeks and where he was surrounded by future NFL players. Washington, however, has one of the worst offensive lines in football (star left tackle Trent Williams is still holding out), is without its projected starters at running back and tight end due to long-term injuries and has, perhaps, the least-talented receiver group in the NFL. Already 0-3, the season is spiraling quickly for the Redskins, who have just one playoff win under Dan Snyder and have churned through quarterbacks along the way.
Some close to Haskins have expressed to team officials how potentially dire the current situation could be to a novice quarterback, sources said, expressing their belief that it could be detrimental in the short and long term to play Haskins under current conditions. However, with the season unraveling already, with attendance an issue for years in Washington, with fan disinterest a regular topic in the area, and with young quarterbacks thriving all over the league, there is concern that Snyder and others in the organization will want to get a look at the top pick sooner rather than later.
Journeymen Case Keenum and Colt McCoy are not going to create a buzz or excitement about the future, and some in the fanbase are already clamoring to see Haskins (Sunday's opponent, the Giants, recently sat Eli Manning for Daniel Jones, who was selected ahead of Haskins in 2019). Coach Jay Gruden would view playing Haskins anytime soon as only a last resort, sources said, and is a strong proponent of McCoy, who only recently returned to practice from injury.
There is no push from within the staff to play the rookie despite how quickly so many other franchises have made similar moves, as Haskins gets more comfortable with the entire playbook, calling in the plays and shifting protections and adjustments. The left side of the offensive line in particular has been a massive problem already this season, while star tight end Jordan Reed's career is in doubt after repeated concussions. Running back Derrius Guice, the 2018 second round pick who Washington intended to run the offense through, has been injured for almost the totality of his career so far.
Haskins, as one would expect, is eager to play as soon as possible, sources said, after having to sit behind other quarterbacks while in college and is doing everything possible to get on the field.