Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins will make his second consecutive start during Sunday's game against the visiting Panthers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Alex Smith, who missed last Sunday's loss to the 49ers, continues to be sidelined with a calf injury. Smith has gone 4-1 as the Football Team's starter this season, while Haskins and fellow backup Kyle Allen are a combined 2-7 as Washington's staring quarterbacks this season.
Washington (6-8) is currently one game ahead of the Cowboys and Giants in the NFC East standings. It will finish the 2020 regular season next week at Philadelphia against an Eagles team that is currently 1.5 games behind Washington in the East.
It has been a trying season for Haskins, who this week was fined $40,000 and stripped of his captaincy after social media videos surfaced of the second-year quarterback violating team protocols. Haskins started Washington's first four games of the season before being benched in favor of Allen, who was then replaced by Smith after sustaining an injury. With Smith under center, the Football Team won four consecutive games while moving into first place in the East. Washington is trying to make the postseason for the first time since 2015.
On Sunday, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that Haskins' days in Washington "are numbered," as the Football Team is expected to part ways with Haskins during the offseason. That means that Sunday's game could very well be Haskins' final start in Washington. In two seasons, the 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft has posted a 3-9 record as a starter. He has completed just 60.2% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
While running back Antonio Gibson is expected to play, Haskins will likely be without receiver Terry McLaurin, who has been listed as doubtful with a an ankle injury. Haskins and the rest of Washington's offense will face a Carolina defense that is 20th in the NFL in scoring, 18th in passing and rushing, 31st in third down efficiency and 27th in red zone efficiency.