Dwayne Haskins will not be named starter for the Washington Redskins following another embarrassing loss, at least for the moment. Facing a Chicago Bears team on Monday Night Football that was starving to re-establish themselves as the best defense in the NFL, quarterback Case Keenum became nothing more than meat hanging from their teeth when it was all said and done.
The veteran quarterback was bullied early and often; and when he wasn't being knocked around in the backfield, he was making poor decisions that helped torpedo the Redskins' chances of pulling out a much-needed win for a team that has yet to log one in the 2019 season. Keenum was sacked four times on the evening, but not every mistake was accountable to an offensive line that simply got overwhelmed by Khalil Mack and Danny Trevathan, because it was Keenum who threw three interceptions -- including two to former Redskins safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, with one being a pick six -- and also fumbling twice during the contest.
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The most brutal of the latter came when the Redskins were attempting to mount an unexpected comeback in the fourth quarter, but the called QB sneak turned into a QB dive gone horribly wrong.
All told and despite throwing for 332 yards -- most of which came on a couple drives -- Keenum played out of sorts for most of the game and that led to calls for head coach Jay Gruden to finally turn the reins over to Haskins in the hopes of potentially saving a season that is rapidly beginning to swirl down the porcelain bowl. Speaking to the media following the team's 0-3 start, Gruden couldn't have been more definitive with his reply to calls to start the rookie first-round pick.
His answer is a flat-out no.
"No really, no," Gruden said. "I think the most important thing is we have to have some continuity. You know, I can't be changing people every five minutes here. I've gotta give Case an ample opportunity to play with these new guys.
"This is his first time in this offense, really. Donald Penn and Ereck Flowers -- it's their first time in this offense. Trey Quinn only played two games last year. I've made this point before. We're not gonna be perfect, but we need to be better.
"And I think we can get better. Otherwise, if I didn't think we had a chance to get better, then I would make a change. But I feel like Case has the tools to become a very efficient quarterback in this offense and get us some victories here moving forward."
Gruden makes fair points regarding the porous offensive line, which wouldn't look any better in their attempt to protect Haskins than Keenum -- particularly while All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams continues to hold out. Keenum was also acquired via trade this offseason, with the team giving up a sixth-round pick in exchange for the 31-year-old and a seventh-rounder, and while that isn't much; it could be enough to nudge Gruden into wanting at least one or two more games before throwing in the towel on the veteran quarterback.
To his credit, Keenum's play hasn't been all bad. Even without impactful production from the run game, he's thrown for 933 yards and seven touchdowns, with his only three interceptions all coming against the Bears in Week 3. Despite his egregious Monday Night Football outing, his passer rating for 2019 is still 100.0, and that gives Gruden additional ammo to justify keeping Haskins on the bench for now. If they continue to lose games, though, the hot-seated coach could quickly change his tone.
Either that, or general manager Bruce Allen might change it for him.