Dwayne Haskins demoted to third-string QB; Taylor Heinicke to start if Alex Smith can’t play

Zachary Neel
·1 min read

For the second time this season, Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been stripped of the starting job and demoted to the third-string spot on the roster, this time after being benched mid-game against the Carolina Panthers in favor of a practice squad player who was studying for his college finals earlier this month.

Going forward, Washington is going to be hoping and praying that QB Alex Smith will be healthy enough to play on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles in a potential playoff-clenching game. There is some optimism that he will be ready, considering he was close to getting the nod this past week, but with an injury as complicated as No. 11’s, it’s always fair to be skeptical.

If Smith can’t go, it will be Taylor Heinicke who comes in, which might not be the worst thing in the world after his performance on Sunday in relief of Haskins, where he went 12-for-19 for 137 yards and 1 touchdown. There is some belief that with a full week of preparation, Heinicke might actually be able to play well, but the hope is still that Smith will be back under center and can get the offense where it needs to be when Washington needs a win the most.