The Washington Football Team reportedly struck a deal with the NFL to allow quarterback Dwayne Haskins to attend practice this week despite the second-year player's apparent violation of COVID-19 protocols. But that doesn't mean the former first-round draft pick is totally escaping discipline for reportedly attending an exotic club without a mask following Washington's Week 15 loss. Ahead of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, in which Haskins could start for the injured Alex Smith, Washington has both fined Haskins and stripped the QB of his title as team captain.
That's according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who said Wednesday that while Haskins was initially voted a captain by teammates in training camp, Washington has removed that honor as "part of the internal punishment" for this week's violations. Haskins' fine amounts to $40,000, per Rapoport, the largest known financial punishment for a COVID-19 violation and roughly half his standard paycheck.
The team will not, however, suspend Haskins, reduce his practice reps or reconsider his status as the likely Week 16 starter, per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
"There have been consequences and we're moving forward," coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday, later insisting that reporters refrain from further Haskins questions and focus on Sunday's game. "One thing I appreciated was his honesty in the conversation. He and I probably have talked five or six times in the past two days."
Haskins told reporters on Wednesday that his actions were "immature and unacceptable." While he was still not wearing a mask at a social gathering with more than 10 people around, the quarterback did note that he wasn't at a strip club and was instead at his girlfriend's birthday party. Nevertheless, he broke protocol.
"I will learn from this mistake and do whatever I can in my power to help this team during this push for a playoff spot," Haskins said, via Megan Plain of WTKR. "I am grateful for coach Rivera being straight-forward with me and giving me another chance. I accept the consequences for my actions and decisions to take away my captaincy. I will do everything in my power to make the most of my second chance."
The 23-year-old Haskins has had an eventful 2020 season, albeit for mostly the wrong reasons. Fined for previous COVID-19 violations earlier this year, the Ohio State product was photographed in a local club, without a mask, hours after Washington's Week 15 loss to the Seahawks. Benched for reserves Kyle Allen and Alex Smith, he returned to fill in for Smith earlier in the day, throwing two interceptions.