Dwayne Haskins is forcing the Washington Football Team into a corner. Having already been fined for violating COVID-19 policy earlier this season, he has apparently done it once again, or at least that's what the team is looking into this week. Haskins was seen taking in the sights at a local exotic club following the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15, and without a mask. Washington is reportedly aware of the situation, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, and has also contacted the league's front office to determine the next course of action.
Haskins was awarded the starting job on Sunday due to the injury to Alex Smith, after having been initially demoted the third string earlier this season. He went on to throw two interceptions in the losing effort, continuing his struggles with the team. Head coach Ron Rivera will reportedly not release Haskins though, on the heels of his latest slip-up -- Tom Pelissero of NFL Network adds -- but the former first-round pick could face another fine and/or a suspension of up to four games.
Haskins issued a statement on Tuesday, via Twitter.
"I want to publicly apologize for my actions this past Sunday," he wrote. "I spoke with Coach Rivera yesterday and took full accountability for putting the team at risk. It was irresponsible and immature of me and I accept responsibility for my action. I also want to apologize for creating a distraction for my team during our playoff push.
"I will learn and grow from this and do what's best for the team moving forward."
If the maximum penalty is handed down, with only two regular season games remaining, he'd be disqualified for up to two postseason games -- assuming Washington makes the playoffs and participates in that many games in January. A four-game ban would spill over to the beginning of the 2021 season if Washington either fails to make the playoffs or is eliminated after its first game.
At minimum, Rivera's patience with Haskins is likely now approaching absolute zero. And considering he's a pre-Rivera era draft pick, there's no loyalty that would nudge the head coach into consistently overlooking immaturity issues. But with the status of Smith still in the air for Week 16, Washington appears unlikely to cut Haskins loose, although the NFL might step in and make that decision irrelevant to close out the regular season, especially considering how purposefully heavy-handed the league has been in doling out punishment for COVID-19 protocol violators.
Haskins is, again, in the crosshairs of commissioner Roger Goodell.