One quarterback returned to the practice field for the Washington Football Team Wednesday, while the team’s original starter remained curiously absent.
Kyle Allen, who started and was knocked from the team’s home loss against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday with an arm injury, practiced without restriction two days after coach Ron Rivera dubbed Allen the team’s No. 1 quarterback when healthy.
Allen replaced Dwayne Haskins as Washington’s starter for the 30-10 loss to the Rams, but left before halftime following a hit by cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Allen was later cleared to return to the game, but Rivera chose to stick with veteran Alex Smith as a precautionary measure.
Before the injury, which occurred when Ramsay hit the quarterback as he ran for a first down, Allen connected on 9 of 13 passes for 74 yards. He rushed for one touchdown.
On Monday Rivera called Allen “our starter” at quarterback ahead of the team’s upcoming home game this Sunday when Washington (1-4) faces the New York Giants (0-5).
Meanwhile Haskins, the franchise’s first-round draft choice with the 15th overall pick in 2019, helmed the offense for the team’s first four games before being demoted to No. 3 on the depth chart last week. He then was not present for the loss to the Rams, with the team saying Haskins had a stomach illness.
Rivera was asked by reporters after Haskins, 3-8 as a starter over his first two seasons, was sent home and did not practice Wednesday because of the same ailment. While Rivera clarified that Haskins’ illness was unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic, the coach sidestepped questions whether Haskins had demanded a trade after being benched.
“I’m not going to talk about football business,” Rivera said.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Rivera intends to keep Haskins in hopes of developing the 23-year-old, hoping to reinstate him as the team’s starter later this season or in 2021.
Per the Post, Haskins has been present in limited fashion since his announced demotion a week ago around what offensive coordinator Scott Turner termed “a unique situation.”
“Ever since what’s happened … he was obviously upset with the decision last week,” Turner said. “Toward the end of last week, we talked a little bit. And then, as we stated, he’s been sick, so I haven’t seen him much outside of Monday.”
Haskins has completed 61.0 percent of his passes this season for 939 yards with four touchdown passes and three interceptions, with his three picks all coming in a Week 3 loss at Cleveland.